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Senate hopefuls offer ideas

By Lisa Tindell

news editor

Candidates vying for the position of Alabama State Senate Dist. 22 have a challenge before them in the June 1 primary election.

Facing off on the Republican ticket are Danny B. Joyner and Jeff Peacock. The winner in the primary will face incumbent Democrat Marc Keahey in the November general election.

Joyner, a Brewton native, said he has the desire to serve the people at home, across the state and the country.

“As a young boy I joined the Boy Scouts of America which would prove to be a guiding moment in my life,” Joyner said. “I have always remembered the oath I took when I was 12. ‘On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country…and to obey the Scout Law…to help other people at all times…to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.’ These words taken to heart as a boy were to be the foundation of my life.”

Peacock, a resident of Atmore, said he hopes to bring his knowledge of business to the office if elected to the position.

“I have almost 20 years of experience starting and growing small businesses,” Peacock said. “I have a bachelor’s degree in finance from Florida State University and a master’s degree in economics and finance from the University of Chicago. Most importantly, though, I have real ideas for addressing the challenges we face as a state and a region.”

Joyner said his life experiences have equipped him with abilities to handle the position if elected.

“As a freshman college student at Jefferson Davis Junior College I went to work with the City of Brewton as a police dispatcher in 1975 and entered the police academy in 1976,” Joyner said. “In 1978 I conducted the “Just Say No to Drugs” education program in Escambia County Schools. I was elected executive vice president of the Alabama Peace Officers Association in Montgomery and as law enforcement officer of the year in 1983-1984. I graduated from specialized and classified FBI techniques and instruction and am currently the CEO of Safety and Security Consultants, Inc., in Brewton. I am also the executive director and founder of the Escambia County, Alabama Tea Party Patriots since February 2009. My life experiences as a proven leader of men and protecting and helping my fellow man will be what I carry with me to Montgomery to represent the people in the Alabama Senate.”

Although candidates usually have varying opinions on a particular subject, both Joyner and Peacock believe the economic condition of the district and state is the biggest issue being faced.

“We must have jobs for our citizens,” Joyner said. “We have to aggressively seek to market our natural resources to the world. Alabama is blessed with good people, good land and water and we are beneath the snow line. The Senate district I will be representing if elected is burdened with runaway unemployment and a sense of despair I have not seen in my life. Without jobs there is no buying of goods and without the buying of goods and services there are not taxes and without a minimal tax base the quality of life in our communities is disintegrating right before our eyes. Basic services in education, health, police, fire and emergency services are being curtailed more and more each day with the loss of sales tax dollars due to unemployment. We need jobs and long-term job security now. The spirit of the people of Alabama can and will rise to this task if they have leaders in the legislature to fight for them and with them.”

Peacock said economic development is the biggest challenge being faced by the region and the state, giving him a focus for his campaign.

“While there are many issues that are extremely important to our region, I believe the biggest challenge facing our state and our region is economic development,” Peacock said. “I firmly believe the foundation of any successful society is a strong economy. With a strong economy, many of society’s ills will correct themselves. For example, as an economy strengthens, more jobs are created; as more jobs are created, wages increase; as wages increase, more money is spent at local businesses; as more money is spent, tax revenue increase; as tax revenue increase, investment in community resources, such as education and infrastructure, can be made. This is why the primary focus of my campaign is economic development.”

Joyner said one way to handle the task of improving the area’s economy is to highlight the positives of the district.

“We must market the things we have in abundance,” Joyner said. “Our natural resources located in our forests should take advantage of a few things we had when I was a boy. We can create a lot of jobs strictly by promoting new lines of green products. In Alabama Senate District 22, the largest geographical senate seat in Alabama, we have an abundance of land located in rural towns and counties. In order for the folks who are about to retire we need to start to work immediately on the critical infrastructure to entice them here. This in itself will create a lot of good construction jobs. We also need to encourage the construction of lakes and ponds in rural areas. People want to build homes around water and the more water we have the more people will build, live and retire here in Southwest Alabama. The construction of a 2,600-acre lake would produce 62 miles of shoreline in Conecuh County. That would be a good start on what I’m talking about. It can be realized if I am elected to the Alabama Senate here in district 22 within the next four years.”

Peacock said he would continue to work on promoting economic development in the district that will handle important issues.

“I will promote economic development by supporting a tax structure and regulatory environment that encourages economic growth,” Peacock said. “I will promote legislation that supports small business development andentrepreneurship; advancing tort reform legislation that eliminateslitigation abuse and frivolous lawsuits and by advocating education reforms that serve the needs of our children, not special interest groups.

Joyner said success would come from certainty of purpose in the office.“If we are to succeed in the critical political and policy battles ahead, we must be certain of our purpose,” Joyner said. “We must begin by retaking and resolutely defending the high ground of America’s founding principles.”

Peacock believes a different perspective needs to be seen in the District 22 seat.

“I would bring a different perspective to the office than is held by the incumbent,” Peacock said. “My entire professional and educational career has been in business while the incumbent’s entire career has been as a trial lawyer. When you consider the significant economic challenges facing our region, I believe we need leaders who understand economic development and entrepreneurship – not lawsuits.”

Polls for the primary election will be open at usual polling places throughout the county from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 1.