Editor’s Note: This is an opinion column.
By Paul DeMarco
So the Alabama general elections are behind us, and new lawmakers are being sworn in to serve in the Alabama House of Representatives and Senate.
There will be 31 freshmen in the House and six in the Senate.
In addition, this past week, Republicans elected new leadership that will take over when they convene in 2023.
With the selection of Nathaniel Ledbetter as Speaker of the House and Scott Stadthagen as the next Majority Leader for the GOP Caucus, there is hope that after the last four years, Ledbetter and Stadthagen will lead a more conservative House of Representatives. These two men earned the confidence of their colleagues to lead. Their selection indicates that conservative values have a better shot of moving the state forward.
Alabama proved again this election cycle that it is one of the most Republican states in the country.
However, legislators have been accused of not truly reflecting the conservative values of Alabama citizens. Whether it was the redistricting process undertaken behind closed doors without input from citizens, the efforts to weaken the criminal justice system, or blocking conservative bills, Republicans hope the House will do better in the next four years with new leadership.
All of the newly elected first-time Republican representatives campaigned on conservative principles such as being fiscally conservative and making public safety a priority. Liberal advocacy groups are chomping at the bit to open the prison doors, legalize recreational marijuana, and spend every penny taxpayers send to Montgomery. The new leadership and legislators should say no to all of these attempts at the Statehouse.
We will see if the new leadership and freshmen lawmakers follow the will of the voters who elected them and change the direction of the Alabama House of Representatives. Alabama voters will be watching.
Paul DeMarco is a former member of the Alabama House of Representatives and can be found on Twitter @Paul_DeMarco.