BRADENTON, Fla. – Saying his past uniquely prepares him to be Alabama’s “trustworthy governor,” Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington formally announced his bid for the office on Monday.
Carrington, a Republican, said his experience as president of Alabama’s second-largest government – behind the state itself - set the stage for his candidacy.
That experience began from day one, he said, and led to the decision he and fellow commissioners made in 2011 to place Jefferson County into Chapter 9 bankruptcy.
“Today, Jefferson County government is operational and fiscally restored with 1000 fewer employees,” Carrington said to a crowd gathered at a local park for his announcement.
Carrington said the commission worked as a team to solve the sewer debt crisis and the county’s troubled finances that led to the bankruptcy filing. He did not mention that the case is still being appealed.
If elected, Carrington said he would focus on unifying the state, upgrading Alabama’s education system, unlocking jobs through economic development initiatives, and “untangling the mess in Montgomery.”
Jefferson County commissioners “know a thing or two about clearing up messes left by others,” he said, in an apparent reference to last month’s blow-up at the state capital, which led former Gov. Robert Bentley to resign.
Bentley stepped down after pleading guilty to campaign contribution violations amid impeachment proceedings prompted by an affair-related scandal.
“Alabama’s next governor needs to have the character and competence of a trustworthy leader,” Carrington said.
Other candidates who have filed campaign papers or said they are considering bids to run for governor include former Auburn football coast Tommy Tuberville, Birmingham businessman Joshua C. Jones, Alabama Public Service Commission Chairwoman Twinkle Cavanaugh, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, State Auditor Jim Zeigler, and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox.
Gov. Kay Ivey, who took office April 10 in the wake of Bentley’s resignation, has not announced if she will run for election in 2018. Ivey was the state’s lieutenant governor.
Candidates intending to participate in next year’s primary election can begin soliciting contributions on June 5.
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in Jefferson County’s bankruptcy appeal on Dec. 16.
A decision by the appellate court is pending on whether a lower court judge erred in September 2015 when she rejected a motion by the county to dismiss an appeal of the 2013 bankruptcy plan brought by a group of ratepayers on the county’s sewer system.