Rep. Ward: Chilton angry over spending

Published 7:46 pm Monday, April 12, 2010

Having spent some quality time in Chilton County lately, State Rep. and Senate candidate Cam Ward has a sense of what currently concerns its residents.

Since he began his campaign, he said folks in Chilton County are worried about government spending at both state and federal levels.

“Almost everywhere I go in Chilton County people tell me that they are concerned with out-of-control government spending in both Montgomery and Washington,” Ward said. “You can tell they are genuinely angry about it. I think what I will enjoy the most about representing Chilton County is how open and accessible the people of this community are.”

Ward is running unopposed for Seat 14 of the state senate, representing Chilton and parts of Jefferson, Shelby and Bibb counties.

“It is really nice to be able to sit down in a small group setting over a cup of coffee and have them open up to you about how they really feel about issues in their community,” he said. “It is nice to have these kinds of roundtable discussions. You can tell that people in Chilton County have a lot on their minds and want to make sure their state legislators are listening. That is refreshing to me.”

Ward said Sen. Hank Erwin, currently representing District 14, called him before he announced his run for lieutenant governor, prompting Ward to consider taking the leap to run for Senate.

Although running unopposed, he still manages an active campaign schedule, which led him to his many visits in Chilton County.

“While I have really enjoyed my service in the House, I realize that if I am going to have a bigger impact on the issues that concern me I will have to take that challenge to the Senate where a legislator has much more influence,” Ward said.

He hopes to push for some of the same legislative policies he pursued as a member of the State House, including ethics reform, tax incentives for job-creating industries and providing support for worthy public education programs in each community.

“During my eight years in the House, I have been able to work with both parties to pass some solid legislation in areas of criminal penalties, tax credits, autism awareness and campaign finance reform,” he said.

He said that won’t be easy now given the political climate in Montgomery.

“Unfortunately some of the same hardcore anger in Washington, D.C. has made its way down to Montgomery, particularly the Alabama State Senate,” Ward said. “The chamber is closely divided between political parties, which means that it has had more gridlock than ever before. In order to be successful in this environment, I believe a great deal of patience and willingness to conduct myself in a civil manner while still standing firm on my values will be the key to success.”

Ward is a native of Alabaster. He has a wife, Julie, of more than 15 years and a 7-year-old daughter, Riley.