Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

State Rep. Bentley tours Tuscaloosa

After declaring Thursday as “Tuscaloosa Day,” Republican gubernatorial candidate and state Rep. Robert Bentley spent the day campaigning at local establishments in an attempt to gain name recognition statewide.

“This month will change the election,” Bentley said. “In the last poll we took, our name recognition was at 28 percent statewide. Beginning tomorrow, we will broadcast two commercials over the course of the next month. Our name will be all over Alabama.”

Bentley started the day in Northport, where he introduced himself to City Cafe patrons and toured several local businesses before heading to Tuscaloosa for lunch with a number of pastors. He followed this with more campaigning throughout stores in Midtown Village.

“Our nation is sick,” Bentley said. “That same sickness has permeated the state of Alabama, and because of that our economy has worsened. We can’t wait around for the national government to fix it.”

His day concluded with a town hall meeting at the Belk Activity Center, where he was joined by over 150 supporters and several local Republicans who have announced their candidacy for public office in the coming election.

State House of Representatives candidates John Merrill, Jerry Tingle, Bill Poole and John Fisher, state Senate candidates Greg Reed and Thad Turnipseed, and Dale Peterson, who is running for commissioner of agriculture and industry, each had five minutes to introduce themselves and their campaign platforms before Bentley spoke.

“There are three main reasons to elect me as the next governor of the state of Alabama,” Bentley said. “I have the most experience of anybody with state budgets, I have the most good ideas, and I am the only one, except maybe Tim James, that’s always been a Republican.”

Bentley is one of seven Republican gubernatorial candidates campaigning statewide before the June 1 primary. The winner of the primary will then face off against the Democratic primary winner in the Alabama general election, which is scheduled for Nov. 2.

In January, Bentley introduced the Re-Employment Act of 2010, a bill that calls for major tax deductions for businesses who hire the unemployed. On Feb. 24, the bill passed the House of Representatives with a 102-0 vote, something Bentley said was important to recognize.

“You can never accomplish anything in Montgomery unless you can work with the other side,” Bentley said. “I get along with the Democrats.”

Bentley said the state’s current unemployment rate is at 11 percent, and that, if elected, he would not take the salary of governor until full employment has been reached.

“I truly am trying to identify with the people of Alabama,” Bentley said.

David Ferguson, Bentley’s campaign manager, said voters have one opportunity to elect an honest man with good ideas to help move the state of Alabama forward.

“We’ve got the candidate with the best solutions, and we’re going to come from behind and win this thing,” Ferguson said.

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