Politics CAMPAIGN 2018: Q&A with Alex Chaney | CullmanSense


CAMPAIGN 2018: Q&A with Alex Chaney

Alex Chaney / W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune

CULLMAN - As we near the June 5 primary election, The Tribune is sitting down with all of the candidates voters will see of their ballots. In this installment, we hear from Alex Chaney. A Cullman native and graduate of Cullman High School, the University of Alabama, and Jones School of Law at Faulkner University, Chaney is a partner in the law firm of Berry, Berry, Little, Bruner, and Chaney. Chaney is challenging incumbent Rep. Corey Harbison, R-Good Hope for his seat representing District 12.

What made you want to seek elected office?

“Cullman County has been really good to me and my family.  I grew up in a service family: my father (Judge Kim Chaney) has donated his life to Cullman County, my mother has donated her life to her students in Cullman County.  So I knew about service at a really young age.

“While in law school, I actually worked with the Alabama Law Institute, so I actually helped draft legislation to be used in the Alabama House and Senate.  I think that my specific skills and legal background give me kind of a leg up with drafting legislation.”

What got you ready for the position you’re seeking?

“I am an attorney, I’m a small business owner, I have a general law practice on (US Highway) 31 that bills in both state and federal courts.  And I think that that experience, legal background, helps me read, understand, and I think would it help me draft legislation.

“Also, like I said before, I worked in Montgomery at the Alabama Law Institute, and actually drafted legislation.  

“One more thing: while I was in Montgomery, I also had the pleasure of working with Judge (Liles) Burke.  He sat on the Court of Criminal Appeals when I worked for him, and now he has been appointed to the federal bench by our President Donald Trump, and I think he’ll do an excellent job in that position.”

What do you hope to accomplish in office?

Chaney focused on three main areas:

“Number one is education.  Cullman County is fortunate; they have some of the best schools in the state, that I’m a product of, but unfortunately statewide that’s not the case.  So I need to look and evaluate our education system in the state. I’m all for having a reserve in the education budget, but I’m extremely a fiscal conservative, and I don’t know if we need a billion dollars in the education budget.  So I’d like to see what money’s coming in and exactly how that’s spent, before I make a determination on education.

“My second one would probably be mental health.  Mental health is a huge issue statewide, and Cullman County’s no exception to that.  People are dying. Mental health is filling our prisons and our jails. Just today I had a dealing in my law practice with a client that has been already committed to the Department of Mental Health, but he’s been held in the county jail for six months, waiting on a bed from Taylor Hardin (Secure Medical Facility).  That’s unacceptable! And I’m not going to wait on the state to do something; I’m sure not going to wait on the federal government to do something. We’ve got to act here locally to combat that.

“Third would have to be economic development.  We’ve had a lot of business, a lot of growth coming into Cullman County, which is excellent, into the whole state.  And I’m all for tax incentives to get new businesses in, but we’ve got to have the infrastructure necessary to keep those businesses.  (Alabama Highway) 157’s a prime example: that needs to be a four-lane road. There’s those bridges there that are not being used; we’ve got to make that a four-lane road so we can attract these big companies.  

“As far as businesses, we’ve got a lot of great local businesses, so I’m all for tax incentives to bring in new business, but we need to make sure that we take care of our business that’s been here for many years.  We need to give them tax breaks--the same thing.”

If you had to boil your message down to something simple, what would you want people to know about you?

“Kind of my slogan has been ‘The right combination of new ideas and old-fashioned values.’  I’m fiscally conservative; I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a more conservative man than I am, running for office.”

The Tribune offers each candidate the opportunity to discuss differences between themselves and their opponents that they see as important, as long as they keep things clean and friendly.  Chaney, like some other candidates, chose not to comment about his opponent.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/votechaney/.

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