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Business Council endorses two judicial candidates, declines on chief justice race

The Business Council of Alabama announced two key endorsements Wednesday for judicial candidates: Chris McCool for the Alabama Supreme Court and Thomas Govan for the Court of Criminal Appeals. After “thoroughly evaluating the chief justice race,” however, the BCA declined to make an endorsement.

The endorsements were made by the BCA’s political action committee ProgressPAC, which advocates for business-friendly policies on both the state and federal level. 

“ProgressPAC is proud to endorse candidates who maintain a commitment to fairness concerning the interests of Alabama businesses,” said Mark Drew, ProgressPAC chairman.

“Now more than ever, it is crucial we elect pro-business judges that will uphold the rule of law and ensure a legal system that does what is right for businesses and all citizens of this state.”

Currently a judge on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, McCool is running as a Republican for a seat on the Alabama Supreme Court, and has experience as a lawyer, prosecutor and judge spanning 25 years. He is the only candidate running for the Place 1 seat on the court.

McCool is a resident of Pickens County, and currently manages a farm that’s been in his family for five generations.

Currently the chief of the Criminal Trials Division with the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, Govan is running as a Republican for a seat on the Court of Criminal Appeals, and has 15 years of experience as a prosecutor, having litigated cases in both state and federal courts.

A resident of Montgomery, Govan was sworn in as a member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve in 2016, where he continues to serve as an officer.

Govan and fellow Republican Rich Anderson, an appellate prosecutor with the Attorney General’s Office, are running for an open seat on the court.

Regarding the chief justice race, the BCA declined to make an endorsement, though four candidates – one Democrat and three Republicans – had qualified.

The sole Democrat in the chief justice race, Greg Griffin is currently a judge of Alabama’s 15th Judicial Circuit Court. Republican candidates are Jerry Blevins, a Montgomery attorney; Sarah Stewart a sitting member of the Alabama Supreme Court; and Bryan Taylor an attorney and former state senator.

The BCA did not elaborate on its decision not to make an endorsement in the race.

BCA was founded in 1985, and regularly meets with state and federal lawmakers to advocate on behalf of businesses and business owners.

The primary elections are March 5, 2024, and runoffs, if necessary, are April 16. The general election is Nov. 5.

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