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Siegelman visits after hours

DEMOPOLIS – The Alabama Central Credit Union hosted its first major gathering in lobby of its brand new building as it welcomed members of the Demopolis Chamber of Commerce and a former governor.

The occasion was the Chamber After Hours and Jay Shows, president of the Chamber, said a record number attended Wednesday night.

“We had a little larger crowd than normal,” Shows said. “We usually have about 20 to 30 people and about 40 showed up tonight. I am very pleased with the turnout.”

The increase in numbers could’ve been because of the evening’s special guest, former Alabama governor and this year’s governor hopeful, Don Siegelman.

“I had been to the last Chamber After Hours but I got there late. So this time I planned my evening around it,” Siegelman said. “Demopolis is a great city. I am impressed with the mayor and there are some wonderful people here.”

Siegelman said, as governor, he hopes to work with mayor Williamson to bring good jobs into the area and put more funding into the schools.

Although Siegelman told spectators he enjoyed his time out of the office, dedicating more time to his family, he said he wants to come back because he knows “things could be better.”

“My heart has been pulled back into the arena,” he said. “People keep telling me they want me back and these are people who need help.”

In his partial campaign speech, Siegelman said if he is elected, he would not raise taxes, wants to start an educational lottery and a youth vocational job program, and will demand a seat at the table with incoming casinos to get a piece of the profit for the state’s economy.

“I believe in this state. Better yet, I believe in the people,” he said. “I want to give the economic opportunity to the local communities.”

Vice president of the Alabama Central Credit Union, Joe Kiser, said he is happy for the opportunity to host such an event.

“We wanted to showcase out new location,” he said. “We are a part of the community and we need to be involved in the community.”

As a member of the Chamber, the Credit Union was offered the opportunity to host the gathering.

“It’s great when politicians get out into the community, especially in Demopolis,” Kiser said. “Something like this is very important.”