Rep.Thomas announces run for Senate District 23

Posted by: Mario A. Hendricks - bio | email

SELMA, AL (WSFA) - State Representative James Thomas announced that he is running for the Alabama Senate next year. Thomas is vying for the District 23 Senate seat vacated by Sen. Hank Sanders, who has recently announced his retirement.

"Both Senator Sanders and I have been fighting for the Black Belt for more than 20 years," said Thomas. "We have done good work together, but there is more to be done. I believe that we need someone with experience and dedication to serve as our state senator, and that is why I am running. I ask for your prayers and your vote in next June's Democratic primary."

The 23rd Senate District is one of the largest and most rural in Alabama, encompassing all or parts of Dallas, Wilcox, Lowndes, Monroe, Conecuh, Clarke, Marengo, Perry and Autauga counties.

Thomas is currently serving his seventh term in the Alabama House of Representatives. He says that he understands that the two most important issues facing the district are jobs and education.

"As a person who has dedicated his life to public schools, I know the importance of education. We need to keep the progress going that we've made in the past ten years. We need to fight for more resources, and to fund things that we know improve teaching and learning," said Thomas. "As our education improves, so does the economy of our region."

As a representative, Thomas worked in the Legislature on economic efforts like the Hyundai plant, which brought jobs in its plant as well as employment from suppliers who have located in the region.

"Our traditional industries have been hard hit in this slumping economy. We need to look for other homegrown ways of economic development like biodiesel and other alternative energy efforts, as well as be on the constant lookout for other industries to locate in the Black Belt," said Thomas. "And we need to look at things like entertainment and tourism to bring folks to our area and create jobs at home."