Man announces candidacy for Statehouse

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 9, 2005

REGION-For the first time in over 20 years a new face will occupy the District 71 seat in the Alabama House of Representatives after the 2006 election. Artis (A.J.) McCampbell, a native of Linden, wants to be the man to fill that seat.

McCampbell announced his plans to seek the District 71 seat at Tuesday’s meeting of the Marengo County Commission. Throughout his campaign, McCampbell said, he plans to get to know the people he hopes to represent and their needs.

“It is going to be my objective to find out what you all will need in this county,” McCampbell said. “My plan is to be the voice in Montgomery for you.”

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Representing the entire Black Belt, McCampbell said, was the most effective way to serve as a voice for his constituents.

“It is not going to be an issue where this county alone will be represented,” McCampbell said. “I will represent each of the (three) counties on my district. I also plan to work with the other representatives in the Black Belt region to help get us a voice not only in Montgomery, but help us get a voice in Washington D.C.”

Though he is from Marengo County, McCampbell said he would do his best to be a voice for Greene and Sumter counties as well.

“It is my objective to help us become a collective voice,” McCampbell said. “It is only as we become a collective voice that people will sit up and take notice of what we are saying.”

Campbell said he would need support and advice from his supporters to complete a successful run.

“I am asking for your prayers, support and ideas,” McCampbell said. “I want to help us move this area forward into the 20th century and get people to understand we have needs and we are ready to get those needs addressed.”

Primaries in the District 71 race will be held June 6, 2006 followed by a June 29 runoff, if necessary. The general election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2006.

The election will determine who will take over the seat vacated by Lucius Black of York. Black, who was elected to his office in 1983, recently announced he would not seek reelection in 2006.

Rev. F.N. Nixon, head of the Sumter County Democratic Party and a personal friend of Black, said their long time representative would leave a strong legacy in Montgomery.

“I think he (Black) served well during the time he was in office,” Nixon said. “He did lots of great things for the people he served, including helping out the Greene County schools.”

Nixon said he wished Black’s successor luck and hoped they were as effective as Black.

“We hope whoever takes his place will do just as good a job as he has done,” Nixon said. “They will have big shoes to fill, but I hope they can do a good job.”