By Bradley Byrne
Why do I want to be your congressman?
I was born and raised here in Mobile and am proud to call Southwest Alabama my home. There is little doubt our nation and our region face many challenges -- but we also enjoy abundant opportunities. I run for this office as a person who truly seeks real solutions to our problems.
After serving eight years on the State Board of Education and five years as a state senator, Governor Riley asked me to serve as chancellor of the two-year college system. When I took over as chancellor, the community college system was in the midst of one scandal and federal investigation after another, the result of decades of political cronyism, back-room deals and no-show jobs handed out to legislators. There was a tremendous amount of waste. Bishop State Community College was on the verge of losing its accreditation and closing its doors.
But there were a lot of good people working in that system, and together with lots of hard work, we were able to set the two year system back on its feet, restore Bishop State's reputation, and cut over $70 million out of the system's budget without raising tuition or eliminating a single essential program. We did that at the same time we overhauled the workforce training delivery system and worked with state, national and international economic developers to bring more jobs to Alabama.
That period was something of a trial by fire in my experience as a public servant. It meant that I had to stand up to some pretty powerful special interests and endure well-funded disinformation attacks. Some of those attacks were difficult to endure, but I wouldn't change a thing. I wouldn't back down then and I won't back down now when it comes to doing what's right for Southwest Alabama.
That's the kind of congressman we need to send to Washington. Someone who knows how to tackle the big issues. Someone who has experience doing the difficult work of cutting costs without sacrificing quality, trimming waste, and standing up to special interests.
Airbus and Austal are shining a bright light on our area and we are getting a lot of national and international attention in the industry recruiting world. This is a magic moment for the Mobile area and we need someone with courage looking out for our interests at the national level.
We need someone in Congress who won't back down no matter how hard it gets.
I know that I am that someone, and I ask for your vote.