David Ed Bishop enters race
for Baldwin state senate seat
Baldwin County Commissioner David Ed Bishop this afternoon joined a burgeoning field of Republican hopefuls in the campaign to succeed former state Sen. Bradley Byrne in the District 32 seat.
In announcing his candidacy, Bishop declared, "As a leader in growth for Alabama and one of the largest contributors in State lodging and gas taxes, Baldwin County needs a strong presence in Montgomery. We
should receive our fair share of state funding to re-build our roads, enhance our educational system and protect our citizens. No one knows this better than Baldwin County Commissioner David Ed Bishop."
Bishop said he believes Baldwin County should retain a greater percentage of the state gas and tourism taxes collected here and, in announcing his campaign for the state Senate, proclaimed it his "mission to 'Bring Back what Baldwin County Deserves.'”
Bishop, a resident of Fairhope, has served on the Baldwin County Commission for almost five years and, before that, for 25 years on the Fairhope City Council.
As a member of Faith Baptist Church, Bishop said he and his family
are guided by Christian morals and family values. As a Republican, Bishop asserted his commitment to the conservative mission of the GOP, including a dedication to preserving low taxes.
According to Bishop, when he joined the Commission there was great concern about the rate of growth and the lack of resources to provide the necessary infrastructure. With Baldwin County’s population expected to double by the year 2020, Bishop joined other commissioners and led the way with a strategic long range plan to manage this growth, he noted.
Commissioner Bishop said he has been steadfast in his opposition to any new local taxes and has pledged his efforts to seek out (revenue) options, which do not include local tax increases.
“There is no question that our tourism related growth has taken a toll on this community," Bishop said. "A large portion of the taxes collected here are transferred to Montgomery, and I expect the State should share more of that back to help us rebuild the infrastructure necessary to maintain our services. Baldwin County should invest in Alabama, but the State must invest in us, too.”
Baldwin County’s growth has placed great strain upon our county education system, he said, adding that he supports the county school system as it strives to become the best.
He said he is committed to finding additional state and federal funding to help the county school system deal with "this incredible growth" and improve education throughout Baldwin County.
“When county school systems split everyone loses," said Bishop. "This includes parents, teachers and communities. But most of all, our children suffer. We must work together to make a stronger education (system) for everyone. I honestly believe that we are stronger and better, together.”
Development is taking its toll on all parts of Baldwin County, not just our roads and infrastructure, according to Bishop, who added that he
believes county and city leaders should work with developers to implement controls on growth and ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place before we allow development to outpace that support.
"We need someone in Montgomery who understands the delicate balance between growth and the environment," Bishop said.
As a county commissioner, Bishop he backed funding for the acquisition and the preservation of 1,180 acres of environmentally-sensitive land in Baldwin County.
“As your state senator, we will find a way to redirect our growth so that it can benefit everyone, and not just those profiting from the transactions,” said Bishop.
"While dealing with the effects of growth and development, we must deal with the critical need for affordable insurance," he continued. “Almost every day I hear from someone who cannot afford their insurance or taxes. I cannot stand idle while people in Baldwin County are being forced to move to another area, or worse, into financial disaster.”
Bishop said he has supported the efforts of former Foley Mayor Tim Russell and believes the open market is the best place to resolve the cost problem. However, the results have not been realized as quickly as first expected, he conceded.
“I will do everything and anything, to get the legislature to address the issue of coastal insurance in Alabama," Bishop said. "The legislature must confront this issue, with greater regulation or with financial support to sustain our catastrophe pools."
Bishop said he also believes that Baldwin County should welcome every citizen or person entering our county legally.
"However, illegal aliens pose a serious problem for our county," he said. “We need to protect those who work hard to support their families, including those who worked hard to enter this country legally. Those who enter the country illegally are likely to hide from law enforcement and engage in other illegal activities. We need their help in the work force, but we must ensure that they are abiding by our laws and participate as citizens, not simply imported labor.”
In addition to dealing with the effects of growth in Baldwin County, Bishop said he wants the legislature to focus on protecting our elderly citizens. New laws are needed to force greater penalties upon those who seek to harm our seniors, said Bishop.
“As a commissioner I have heard about the scams and fraud targeting our seniors," he said. "I am serious about passing laws that will protect our seniors and want to make them harsh enough that they deter this kind of activity.”
While Baldwin County is growing at a record-setting pace, Bishop said leaders must continue to promote the county.
“I spent the last week with Gov. (Bob) Riley and our Congressional delegation in Europe recruiting new business to South Alabama,” said Bishop. “I regret that I could not be with our community last
night to welcome our President, but I am excited about the progress we made on our trip and I expect that Baldwin County will see great returns from our efforts.”
In addition to his recent mission for new jobs, Bishop has also traveled to Montgomery and Washington to seek funding for County projects.
“I have always been focused on Baldwin County getting our fair share,” said Bishop. “That is why I am volunteering to join the State Senate. My work on the Commission has educated me on what we need to get done. I know what we need better than any other candidate. Now, we must go get help to accomplish our task, while keeping our taxes low. I am ready to deliver.”
Bishop pointed out that he has been a public servant in Baldwin County for almost 30 years.
"None of the candidates in the race for Senate 32 understand the issues facing Baldwin County better than Ed Bishop," Bishop declared.
The special election is set for Aug. 7. Other announced Republican candidates include State School Board Member Randy McKinney, businessman Trip Pittman and former state Sen. Albert Lipscomb.