In a highly contested and publicized Lieutenant Governors race Guntersville-Republican State Rep. Will Ainsworth is standing on his strong record in hopes of winning his party’s nomination in the GOP runoff election on July 17.
Elected to the Alabama House in 2014, Ainsworth championed a push for ethics reform. As a member of the House Ethics Committee, he signed Articles of Impeachment against former Gov. Robert Bentley and introduced a strict term limits bill. Ainsworth also sponsored recall legislation that would allow the public to remove elected officials who abuse their office. Rather than addressing ethics violations only after wrongdoing occurs, Will has taken steps to give the epidemic of corruption affecting the Alabama Capitol Building and State House a strong dose of preventative medicine.
While some voters don’t know much about the office of Lt. Governor, current Gov. Kay Ivey attributes her time in the position as what prepared her to take over the Governorship last April. As written in state law, the Lieutenant Governor is the President of the Senate and is entitled to vote in the event of a tie, much like that of the Vice President of the United States. They are also vested with certain prescribed legislative duties, powers, and responsibilities.
Here Ainsworth is in his own words:
- Significant other? How long married? Kids? My wife, Kendall, and I have been married for 14 years, and we have three children, twin eight-year-old boys and a six-year-old daughter.
- Education background? Professional background? I graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Marketing, and I have built three separate and successful business since college. I also worked as a youth pastor following graduation.
- What was your first job before college/adulthood and after? My first job before college was a small grass mowing business I started while growing up, and my first job following college graduation was serving as youth pastor at Albertville’s Grace Fellowship Church.
- In 25 words or less, why are you running for office? I believe that you have only one life with which to make a difference, so you better make a difference while you are here.
- Did you speak with anybody in your political party before deciding on running? Receive any encouragement? From whom? I consulted with my wife, my parents, and my House colleagues in the freshman and sophomore class, and received a great deal of encouragement from all of them. I also prayed and sought encouragement from above.
- Who do you count on for advice besides significant other or clergy? Throughout my life, my father has proven to be my best source of advice and, perhaps, the wisest man I have ever known.
- Who is your political consultant? Campaign manager? My political consultant is Ward Baker, and my campaign manager is Lewis McDonald
- Who was the first person to contribute to your campaign? Why did they donate? I do not recall who provided my first campaign contribution.
- Who, if anyone, inspires you in state government? During my time in the Alabama House, I have been greatly impressed with State Rep. Bill Poole of Tuscaloosa, who chairs the House Ways and Means Education Committee. Responsible for almost $7 billion in education spending, he is talented at dealing with numbers and with people – two skills that serve him well in his position.
- Why do people mistrust elected officials and what are you going to do about it? Too many elected officials take advantage of the system, abuse their offices, and use them for personal gain. Trust is hard to gain and easy to lose, and each incident of corruption does damage to the public’s confidence that they are being served. I am not a career politician and refuse to become one. I am a citizen servant who wants to give back to my state and then return to the private sector.
- What are 3 specific policy positions that you‘re running on?
- We must make sure that all children have access to state-of-the-art technology, which includes high-speed broadband.
- We must ensure that any child whose parent would like for them to attend a Pre-K program has the opportunity to attend a quality Pre-K program.
- In order to continue our economic development successes, we must focus our attention on workforce development and ensure that every student is “job ready” when they finish school.
- What is a “disruptive” issue (i.e. ride-sharing) you are interested in? I believe we must integrate more technology into the classroom (ebooks, tablets, etc.) so that students are more attuned to what awaits them in the workplace.
- Name one current state law you would want repealed? We must repeal Common Core, which I believe is among the most damaging legacies of the Obama era.
- Who was the best governor in Alabama’s modern history? Gov. Fob James was always guided by his conservative principles, and he was an outsider who did what he thought was right in spite of what the career politicians demanded.
- What will set you apart from other candidates in this race? My roots are in the private sector, and that is where I will return after public service because unlike my opponent, I am not a career politician. My opponent supported Amendment One, the largest tax increase in Alabama history, while I have helped kill roughly $1 billion in new taxes during my term in the Alabama Legislature. I have never been a lobbyist while my opponent made her living as one.
- What’s the first thing you read each morning? Typically, the news is the very first thing I read in the morning.
- Where do you get your political news? I rely upon Fox News and several online news sources.
- Favorite TV series? Duck Dynasty is my favorite show, and I am friends with several of the people on the show. My favorite radio show is the Rickk & Bubba Show, and both Rick Burgess and Bill “Bubba” Bussey have endorsed my campaign.
- Social media presence? Twitter handle? Facebook? Who posts you, campaign staff, combination? I am responsible for posting most of my posts.
- In 140 characters, what’s a Tweet that best describes your campaign message. It is time for a New Day in Alabama. We cannot continue to elect the same name with the same tired ideas and expect different results.
- Hobbies? My hobbies include hunting, fishing, and coaching my children’s sports teams.
- Favorite sport and sports team? Basketball is my favorite sport, and the Auburn Tigers are my favorite team because I am an alumnus of Auburn University.