Former Russell County engineer James McGill officially announced his candidacy to run for the Alabama State House of Representatives in House District 80 Tuesday morning in a press release.
McGill is seeking the nomination on the Republican ticket, which is vacant due to the passing of Representative Lesley Vance earlier this month.
The seat will be filled during a Special Election that has been called by Governor Robert Bentley, scheduled for a Jan. 19 primary followed by the general election scheduled for April 12.
“We need a strong, experienced conservative leader to represent us in the State House. I have a heart for this part of our state. This is my home and the people here are my friends and neighbors,” McGill stated. “I know how much we have to offer and I believe that I can provide the type of leadership that District 80 deserves.”
Mcgill is an engineer and has served as the Director of Economic Development for the Russell County Chamber of Commerce for more than a decade where he had a track record of helping the area to grow. McGill points to Fort Mitchell’s commercial expansion and safer access to Fort Benning’s West Gate as examples of what he has helped to achieve.
“It is critical that we continue the growth between lower Lee County, upper Phenix City and west Russell County. We need proven representation that can pull these three areas together and if we can do that, we can outgrow any region of the state,” McGill explained. “I know that I can make that happen.”
Qualifying for the special election closes Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. EST. At the time of publishing, McGill’s only challenger is current Phenix City council member Chris Blackshear. Currently no Democrat had qualified, but Russell County Commissioner Tillman Pugh, who ran unsuccessfully against Vance in 2014, is considering it.