Tim James’ Common Sense Express visits Clanton

Published 10:57 pm Friday, May 21, 2010

Republican candidate for governor Tim James rolled into Clanton on the fourth day of his “Common Sense Express” bus tour Friday afternoon.

James thanked his Chilton County supporters — a slew of James supporters filled a corner of the parking lot at Kaycee’s Mall, as they greeted the candidate’s bus.

After James’ wife, Angela, and son, Tim, along with a few campaign employees walked off, backers looked for their man. But James arrived later, saying he had to hold a conference call to address recent accusations made by his republican primary opponent Bradley Byrne.

Prior to his arrival, the bus sat in the parking lot as aides handed out yard signs and fans plastered with James’ name and logos. The bus’s speakers blared out Johnny Cash, John Cougar Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen hits.

Former State Sen. Bill Armistead, who once represented Chilton County, approached the microphone and welcomed onlookers. He reassured them James would arrive shortly and then introduced Angela James as “the next first lady of Alabama.”

She addressed the recent Byrne ads.

“When you’re winning, they start throwing all kinds of things at you,” she said. “We feel good about this race.”

Armistead then introduced the James’ son Tim, who recently graduated from the University of Mississippi.

James then arrived in an SUV, immediately jumping out of the car and shaking people’s hands.

Once he took the microphone, he launched into thanking people for coming out and even singled out the leaders of Maplesville, Mayor Kurt Wallace and Police Chief Todd Ingram, for allowing them to use their office landlines for his conference call.

“I intend to be the next governor of Alabama,” he said, met with a bevy of cheers. “And I’m not going to forget about you, Chilton County, when I’m governor.”

He then hit several of his policies, recently popularized by his television advertisements, which have become somewhat of an internet phenomenon. MSNBC personality Rachel Maddow and The New York Times have covered the ads, where a stern James speaks on driver’s license tests, regulations for sex offenders and identification at voting sites.

James feels the state driver’s license exam should only be administered in English and singled out Farsi, the widely spoken ancient Persian language, as a current option on the test.

“This is just political correctness gone amok,” James said.

James and his campaign team then traveled to Prattville, after which they would end their day in Montgomery.

The Republican primary will be held on June 1.