With a little over three months until voters head to the ballots, AlabamaToday.com is inviting all of the candidates, including appointed-incumbent Sen. Luther Strange, to complete a questionnaire we believe offers an interesting, albeit, thumbnail sketch of who they are and why they are running. If you are a candidate and would like to complete the questionnaire, email Elizabeth@ALToday.com.
Today’s candidate spotlight features Bryan Peeples, President and CEO of his own consulting company who’s hoping to bring hope, optimism and change to the nation’s capital.
Here he is in his own words:
- Significant other? Kids? I do not have a significant other or kids. Someday I hope to be a loving husband and father but that hasn’t been the plan for my life as of yet.
- Education background? Professional background? I started a consulting firm, Peeples Consulting, focusing on small and medium sized businesses. I have an extensive back ground in operations, managing, and IT and I am passionate about helping people succeed and giving the tools for that success. My drive is to ensure that others succeed. Owning your own business is stressful and time consuming but with the right passion and drive can be extremely rewarding. I try and stress to those that it’s not the monetary value that makes your job rewarding it is the ability to see that you were able to provide a substance or service to someone and it was beneficial to them in that time and place. Seeing that you were able to help someone is the reward.
- What was your first job? Burger King when I was 15. I have always wanted to work. I remember going for my interview in khakis and tie and being extremely nervous. I worked there until I moved from Denver to Birmingham. I still remember this one guest that would come in every other day with his daughter and order a Whopper and Onion Rings for himself and the chicken nugget kids meal for his daughter.
- In 25 words or less, why are you running for office? The voice of the people isn’t represented in Washington anymore. I want to bring hope, optimism, change, and that voice to Washington.
- Did you speak with anybody in your political party before deciding on running? Receive any encouragement? From whom? I spoke with close friends about the choice for running. I prayed hard for the right path to be taken. When my friends and family said that if anyone can do this, if anyone can make a difference it is you. I am passionate about this state and the people in it. Working everyday with the working men and women of this state and seeing how Washington is being run right now our voice, their voice isn’t being heard.
- Who do you count on for advice? Many people. I value all opinions and keep an open mind to new thoughts and ideas. Very few things in this world are solely black and white and issues of the government affect us all differently. I would say if my Grandmother and Grandfather were still alive I would lean on their advice heavily but my fathers advice has been strong in my life. When I was younger I mistakenly never took it but as I matured into adulthood I realized that a lot of what he told me was right and now we talk about issues and different points of views often. It’s important to me to know and understand viewpoints other than mine and different than mine. It allows me to see the whole picture.
- Who is your political consultant? Campaign manager? Currently I do not have one but I am searching for someone for that role.
- Who was the first person to contribute to your campaign? Why did they donate? Stephanie Jordan. I have been friends with her for years and she is an amazing strong woman with 5 wonderful children. She donated to me because she believes in me and believe I can make the difference this state needs in Washington.
- Who, if anyone, inspires you in state government? I think I fall in line with everyone else in this state who is tired of how this state’s government is run. It seems that there is one corruption scandal after another and it’s been that way for as long as I can remember. I like Kay Ivey and feel she is an honorable woman and I wish her all the luck and success as our Governor.
- Why do people mistrust elected officials and what are you going to do about it? When I am talking to people I get several responses to this question. First, most people feel all politicians are all talk. They are only self-serving and are in it for power. I’m not looking to be self-serving or powerful. I truly want to make a difference and be the voice this state can be proud to get behind that represents all people. Second, there is a divide between the Democratic and Republican parties. I hear I won’t vote for “x” party because they have failed this country. There is this visceral negativity in the media today that fuels this but I also feel it goes back to my first point of being all talk. If you listen to sound bites form our elected officials that is all they are, sound bites for news organizations these days. People feel that both parties don’t represent the people anymore and only their agendas.That’s why I’m running. I’m aware there haven’t been any results. I’m running to be a different choice in Washington and to honestly give the people of this state a true voice. I hope to bring a bipartisan perspective to the table and am changing what it means to be a Republican. I’m redefining it because it’s my right and duty to do so and someone has to do it. It’s not just words to me. I truly care about the issues and how they affect all of us. I want to bring a sense of optimism, hope, courage, strength, and positivity back to Washington with.
- What are 3 issues that you’re running on? (Please don’t simply say “education” or “improving the schools”)
- Tax Reform. I see the struggle that small business go through by working with them. The way our taxes are structured for them negatively impacts their growth. Small and mediums sized businesses are the backbone of this country and the majority of Alabamians and Americans work for these companies. We shouldn’t punish the backbone of America for wanting to be successful.
- Healthcare. Healthcare is an important issue to me personally. I feel my frustrations line up with the majority of Americans that our elected officials put plans together that only truly serve their wants and needs rather the ours. I’m passionate about health care because of the struggles my mother has faced and want to make not just health insurance affordable but health care services and pharmaceutical cost to be driven down so life saving and altering drugs are easily accessed without putting someone or families in crushing finical burdens.
- Education. Education in this country is broken. As a child I moved around to many states. Each district had their own standards and I was unfortunately caught in the specifics of those standards many times. I feel my perspective on education is a bit different than those who have resided in this state their entire lives but something has to be done to increase the level of our educational standards for our youth. The United States of America is currently 17th in in the world in secondary education and Alabama is currently 47th. This is unacceptable and we must find a way to challenge our youth to learn, set standards all states can adhere to, and give our educators the tools they need to succeed. I am against Common Core and feel there is a better way to help our educational system.
- What is a “disruptive” issue (i.e. ride-sharing) you are interested in? Climate Change. This issues ties back into healthcare for me and is a taboo subject most Republicans don’t talk about. There are conflicting studies on the causes of climate that can be argued over and over. We are too stuck on whose fault it is instead of accepting there is climate change and if we can do anything about it. We truly know so little about how our planet functions and should invest into learning more about it. Science is fundamentally important to the future of not just America’s future but this world as well.
The point is that this planets climate is changing and we should all be as open minded as to what each of us can do to ensure we have clean air to breath and clean water to drink. I’m a Christian and God told us to be stewards of this earth. We should all want to make sure that we can do everything we can to enjoy this planet. When I go canoeing I don’t want to see trash piling up against the banks or when I go camping I don’t want to see trash littered in the forest. I think it is important that we also invest in renewable energies not just for the environments sake but so that we can truly be an energy independent country and not have to rely on the exports of other countries to get from point ‘A’ to ‘B’. I also want to ensure that people like my mother can walk outside and enjoy a beautiful day without wearing a mask.
- Who was the best governor in Alabama’s modern history? I have no comment on this.
- Are yard signs an important part of campaigning in your district? I believe yard signs are important. Visual recognition can help bring awareness to an individual or cause.
- What’s the first thing you read each morning? I read multiple news sights, Fox, CNN, Washington Post, New York Times, Washington Times. I believe it is vital to see all points of views on the stories of the day and the week to have a better understanding of the issues. There is bias in the media and our national media right now is hard to trust regardless of which source you chose to rely on. I hope that changes soon and we see the journalistic integrity we saw decades ago return instead of the opinionated sound bites we get now.
- Where do you get your political news? Life. My life and the events that molded me into the man I am today have shaped my political views. I was lucky to be raised in a loving caring home with those who challenged me to question everything all the time. I am modern traditionalist. I believe the family is one of the most important structures you can have in your life and a relationship with God. I also believe in what is doing right for your neighbor. There are many issues and very few of them can be solved only one way. It’s is important to keep and open mind and an open heart and have the ability to adjust when you are wrong and accept when you are right.
- 60 Minutes or House of Cards? House of Cards
- Social media presence? Twitter handle? Facebook, Instagram, Twitter @bryanpeeples
- In 140 characters, what’s a Tweet that best describes your campaign message. Let’s bring Passion, Optimism, and your voice back to Washington. We are the sum of both parties and together we can accomplish anything! #PeeplesforthePeople
- Hobbies? I love reading, watching movies, listening to music. I draw, sing, and paint. I love being outdoors, golfing, and camping. I love going to the gym and work out. I enjoy talking to people. There is really very little that I don’t enjoy doing. One of my passions is to volunteer as well.
- Favorite sport and sports team? This is a difficult question and if I had to pick one sport it would be Baseball and my team is the Colorado Rockies but so you have a list:
- NFL: New Orleans Saints
- MLB: Colorado Rockies
- NHL: Colorado Avalanche
- NCCA: Auburn Tigers
- NBA: Denver Nuggets