By MARY SELL and TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama 2nd District Congressional candidate Jeff Coleman received a big endorsement on Monday when FarmPAC, the political arm of the Alabama Farmers Federation, threw its support behind behind the Dothan businessman.
“Over the last few months, Jeff Coleman has met with farmers and Federation leaders across District 2,” Federation National Affairs Director Mitt Walker said in a written statement. “His success as a fifth-generation businessman and commitment to growing the economy while protecting individual liberty resonated with our members. He understands the importance of agriculture and forestry to our state and nation. We are confident Jeff Coleman will fight for farmers and rural families as well as our military and veterans.”
Coleman owns Coleman Worldwide Moving, which is one of Alabama’s 30 largest private companies, according to ALFA. He has showcased his company throughout the campaign, calling himself a “mover and shaker” akin to President Donald Trump and suggesting, tongue in cheek, that his trucks could be used to deport those illegally in the U.S. back across the southern border.
This is his first political race.
“I am deeply humbled and grateful to have the endorsement of the Alabama Farmers Federation,” Coleman said. “Agriculture is the state’s number one industry, and I will be a champion for the hardworking farmers of this state. As a political outsider with a family business background, I am focused on creating jobs and growing the economy, and agriculture plays a huge rule in our state’s economy. I will work tirelessly to support the men and women of this state who wake up every morning to play their part in feeding and clothing the world.”
ALFA is the state’s largest farm organization with more than 330,000 member families. Its influence is key throughout the state, but especially in the agriculture-heavy 2nd District, which stretches from Central Alabama to the Georgia and Florida state lines. The group is known for its ability to organize and turnout members to vote for endorsed candidates.
In Congress, the Alabama Farmers Federation lobbies for agriculture policies friendly to producers in Alabama and depends on the state’s delegation in Washington to influence bills that impact the industry. In particular, the organization closely watches the Farm bill, which sets agriculture policies like the crop insurance program, and trade agreements that affect farmers’ ability to export products.
The agriculture industry this year is losing one of its staunchest advocates in Rep. Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, who is not running for reelection after five terms in Congress. During her tenure, Roby has served on both the House Agriculture Committee and the House Appropriations Committee, and used both positions to influence Farm bill authorization and spending.
The Federation recently honored Roby with its Service to Agriculture Award, noting that she had “earned her the respect of agricultural leaders at home and in Congress.”
Competing with Coleman for the GOP nomination to succeed Roby are former Attorney General Troy King, former Enterprise State Rep. Barry Moore and Prattville businesswoman Jessica Taylor. Democrats Phyllis Harvey-Hall and Nathan Mathis both qualified to run for the 2nd District seat, according to a list of qualified candidates from the Alabama Democratic Party.
The primary election is Tuesday, March 3.