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Maddox: People of Alabama are looking for 'real solutions'

Walt Maddox knows he’s facing an uphill climb in his campaign to become Alabama’s first Democratic governor in 16 years. But it’s a battle Maddox believes is worth fighting.

“I’ve never quit one time in my life. I can’t promise I’ll always succeed, but I’ll never quit on you as your governor,” Maddox said. “I’m not an ideologue. I am pragmatic. I’m a Democrat. Like John F. Kennedy said, ‘Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer.’”

Maddox, in his fourth term as Tuscaloosa mayor, made a campaign stop earlier this month in Franklin County and spent the day as the guest of Russellville attorney Roger Bedford, Jr. Maddox held town hall meetings at Russellville and Red Bay City Halls.

Maddox, who faces opposition in the June 5 Democratic Primary from Sue Bell Cobb, Christopher A. Countryman, James C. Fields, Jr., Doug “New Blue” Smith and Anthony White, has been endorsed by Bedford, the Crimson White newspaper in Tuscaloosa, Ron Sparks and other prominent Democrats.

Maddox shares a message that people want results in state and local government, and he’s delivered those results in Tuscaloosa. As for the state level, Maddox points to what he describes as years of failure since Republicans took control.

“It boils down to action—how do you govern as mayor, and how do you govern when elected governor?” Maddox said. “As I travel Alabama, I find real people looking for real solutions. The rhetoric has not served this state well the past eight years. People want results, and we’re the best candidate to deliver those results.”

Maddox began his professional career as a field director with the Alabama Education Association. In 2001, he became executive director of personnel for Tuscaloosa City Schools, and he was elected as a city councilman in Tuscaloosa.

Maddox was nationally recognized for his part in Tuscaloosa’s crisis management after the devastating April 27, 2011 EF-4 tornado hit his city. He was named Municipal Leader of the Year by American City and Country in 2012. He attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he was a four-year letterman on the football team. He and his wife Stephanie have two children.

Maddox says he and his fellow Alabamians are tired of seeing stagnancy in state government.

“My entire life, Alabama has been at or near the bottom of everything that matters nationally,” Maddox said. “The old way of doing business does not serve our future generations.”

Tuscaloosa has seen major job growth during Maddox’s tenure as mayor, something he credits to a unified effort that crosses party lines to work together for the city’s benefit.

“It’s not about who has the political onesmanship. It’s about creating new jobs. Figure out how to do itm and move forward with that plan,” Maddox said. “It boils down to strategic thoughtfulness and ethical leadership. It’s not about promoting party ideology.

“I’m running because I believe we must protect our next generation of Alabamians and leave them better off than what we inherited.”

Maddox said his relationship and friendship with Bedford began before he was elected mayor in 2004.

“Roger was such an influential member of the Alabama Senate. To pass a piece of legislation, you had to work with Senator Bedford,” Maddox said. “We could discuss any issue and I found him knowledgeable, and all he cared about was creating a positive result.”

Bedford said he endorsed Maddox because he saw first-hand the effectiveness of Maddox’s leadership after the 2011 tornado.

“I’ve been very impressed with his ability to rebuild Tuscaloosa after the tornado,” Bedford said, “and his support of education and economic development is something I think will help all of us in Alabama.”

Maddox pledges to support rural hospitals and says he will move forward with expanding Medicaid, which would infuse $1.8 million into Alabama’s health care system.

“I’ll do that by executive order on day one. Every moment we wait, we are jeopardizing our ability to expand it,” Maddox said. “It’s been mentioned as a reduction by our current administration. It’s one of the worst policy decisions in recent memory, and as I run for governor that’s become painfully obvious across Alabama.”

Maddox promises to protect public education, and he supports an education lottery to transform Alabama’s public education system.

“Our lottery proposal would reinvest hundreds of thousands, potentially millions, into rural school systems,” Maddox said. “Under our Promise Program, Russellville City Schools would qualify for more than $1.1 million.

“I will veto any legislation that takes money away from public schools and puts it into private schools. The taxpayers of Alabama work hard to fund public schools, and this money shouldn’t be stolen from them.”

For more information on Maddox and his campaign, log onto www. waltmaddox.com.

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