Tags: alabama | republican party | future

Alabama Republicans Are the Party's Future Rising Stars

Alabama Republicans Are the Party's Future Rising Stars
(Chris Dorney/Dreamstime.com)

By Monday, 30 July 2018 05:34 PM Current | Bio | Archive

While the Republican Party has been vehemently attacked throughout the “Trump Era,” there are many conservative politicians and lawmakers around the country who still embrace traditional conservative values and ideas. These rising Republican stars expertly navigate the modern nuances of their party, as they are willing to respectfully critique the president when they have policy disagreement and still lend their complete support towards his conservative victories. In the end, they will define the future of the party. The media talks about divisions among the GOP but rarely discusses just how deep the bench is on the Republican side of the aisle.

Alabama, one of the reddest states in the nation, boasts excellent examples of Republican leadership. State leaders like Steve Marshall and John Merrill can show the country the future of the Republican Party. Following Luther Strange’s appointment to fill Jeff Sessions’ senate seat, Marshall took up the state’s Attorney General post in 2017 and has since been a beacon of intelligence and merit in the GOP. He recently won the Republican primary on a platform dedicated to ramping up Alabama’s ability to fight the opioid crisis and violent crime, protecting the rights of gun owners, and eliminating human trafficking in the state. He vigorously supports the Fair Justice Act, which limits capital murderers’ ability to make frivolous appeals, and is fighting a battle in the U.S. Supreme Court over a law that would allow the federal government to seize private lands from citizens to protect endangered species.

Marshall does an excellent job of toeing the line between supporting the president and maintaining his own conservative values. He supports Trump on important issues, like national security and immigration — he fought for Trump’s travel ban, supported the president’s stance on putting an end to sanctuary cities, and demanded an end to Obama’s executive amnesty. Marshall manages to see the bigger picture, balancing state issues with broader federal concerns. He is also a man of incredible character. Marshall showed incredible courage during the primary. His loving wife of many years lost a battle with mental illness and even though it was the hardest time of the AG’s life, he found a way to use his hardship to encourage others who were suffering. In fact, he spoke out on the subject of mental illness, a topic often left untouched by politicians proclaiming that it was “not a sign of weakness” and saying that he wanted to give hope to those who felt like his wife. On a personal note, I can’t speak more highly of Attorney General Marshall's character and my state is lucky to have a man who has a vision and a servant's heart.

John Merrill is the Alabama Secretary of State, another rising Republican star. Merrill served in the Alabama House for 4 years before being elected Secretary of State in 2014. Since his election, Merrill has revolutionized the way the Secretary’s office is run in Alabama.

He cut down on staff and minimized delays, creating one of the most efficient Secretary of State offices in the country. Merrill supports bringing new faces and ideas into the Republican Party and has made efforts to reach out to groups the GOP does not always attract — like women, minorities, and younger voters. Merrill’s work ethic and commitment to growing the party are an excellent model for Republican success. Under Merrill's leadership more than one million new voters have been registered and the secretary of state's office went from the least efficient government office in the state to a model of efficiency. Merrill’s ability to make that office run better than even a private business is something that is a rare accomplishment. Merrill is the odds on favorite for governor in 2024 and if he is able to reform the governor's office like he did the secretary of state's office then there is no limit to how far Alabama could grow under his tenure.

Alabama is a good case study for rising Republicans at the state level who may sometime appear on the national stage. But there are already Republican leaders at the national level who embody strong conservative principles. Rep. Gary Palmer is one of them. Palmer also hails from Alabama, elected in 2014 to represent his state’s 6th Congressional district. His priorities include cutting spending, reducing the number and expense of federal regulations, lowering energy costs and spurring job creation in the energy sector, and replacing Obamacare. Palmer serves on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the Budget Committee, is the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Affairs Subcommittee, and is the Vice Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, representing Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina.

Recently, Palmer made amendments to appropriations legislation that would prevent D.C. from using funds to implement a new health insurance individual mandate. Palmer’s changes would allow people to purchase the kind of health insurance they want, without being subject to a “stealth” tax bill after the fact.

A staunch but sometimes quiet conservative leader, Palmer has done well leading the party with Trump in the White House. In fact, rumor has it that with Paul Ryan leaving congress it is very likely that Gary Palmer will assume a leadership role in the GOP. Palmer’s unique ability to navigate complex policy issues makes a perfect choice to lead the Republican Policy committee. Many insiders speculate that he is the most likely Republican to Challenge Senator Doug Jones in 2020. Palmer’s widespread popularity with all factions of the GOP would position him to be the best candidate the GOP could field to challenge Jones in 2020. Those close to Jones admit that Congressman Gary Palmer would be the most difficult challenger that the GOP could field and if Palmer received the party’s nomination the 2020 senator race would likely be a blowout in favor of Palmer.

Outside of Alabama, many other conservative leaders are working to define the future of the Republican Party. Elected in 2014, Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse has worked to simplify the tax code by eliminating special interest loopholes and lowering business/individual rates, strengthen national security, modernize healthcare, and limit government power. A harsh critic of the Senate, Sasse envisions a legislative body that gets things done and is frustrated with the Senate’s pace.

Marshall, Merrill, Palmer, and Sasse know that the future of the Republican Party lies beyond the next election cycle. Though they support the president in his conservative victories they have plans to expand the GOP in ways that many national leaders are failing to do. With and their leadership, the future of the Republican Party is guaranteed to be strong, and the success of conservative values will continue well into our nation’s future.

Christopher Reid is an attorney out of Birmingham who owns his own general practice law firm, which handles Business, Family, and Probate Law and high-end litigation throughout the state of Alabama. Reid has held various policy positions, including working for the Alabama Policy Institute and the Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C., where he also worked for House Republican Whip Roy Blunt. In law school, he clerked for the Alabama Attorney General Office, and, after graduation, he became Health and Judiciary Policy Analyst for Alabama’s governor. His charitable work includes serving on the board of Sav-A-Life. Chris is a frequent co-host on The Scott Beason Show in Birmingham, writes political and legal commentary for publications including The Hill, The Washington Examiner, and has been quoted in The New Yorker. He regularly provides on-air expertise and political commentary for TV news shows on Fox, NBC, and Newsmax with JD Hayworth. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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While the Republican Party has been vehemently attacked throughout the “Trump Era,” there are many conservative politicians and lawmakers around the country who still embrace traditional conservative values and ideas.
alabama, republican party, future
Monday, 30 July 2018 05:34 PM
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