It's a one-term incumbent versus a political newcomer in the District 27 State Senate race.
Sen. Tom Whatley and retired Air Force pilot Andy Carter both pride themselves on conservative Republican values -- supporting no new taxes and small government.
The winner will face democratic opposition in the November Primary Election.
Whatley remains focused on private sector job growth in the district.
"Education is the economic engine in East Alabama. We've used workforce development with the 2 year colleges and technical schools to recruit new industry," Whatley said.
For Carter, who also brings private business experience to the table, the district's mobilizing force involves empowering business owners and industry recruitment.
"We've got community college systems that can train to whatever requirements we bring in. We've got space available in Russell County, warehouses and mills that are still sitting there, empty," Carter said.
Both candidates have aligned interests regarding public education, specifically agreeing to repeal Common Core. Whatley voted to do just that.
"I want to return the power to the local level, meaning the school boards decide what the children have," Whatley said.
Carter says Common Core's long-term impact on students remains unknown.
"I think there's a lot of issues involving Common Core, and a lot of questions that don't have answers…At the very minimum, lets put a moratorium on it, lets stop until we can get all the facts," Carter said.
Whatley's voting record is consistent with the Republican super-majority, including a yes vote for the costly immigration law. He said he would continue to do what it took to protect local jobs.
Carter contends he will reach across party lines to serve the people of East Alabama, while his values align with the Republican party – he will not be told how to vote.
This is easily one of the most expensive senate races in the state. Whatley is currently outspending Carter hand over fist.
Whatley's contributions including private and special interest money and PACs affiliated with Mike Hubbard and the right leading business council waging attack ads against his opponent with no political experience. Carter's contributions include private donors and PAC funds tied to AEA.
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