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New Member Profile: Rep. Fred ‘Coach’ Plump

Spending 37 years in the Army National Guard, 30 years with Birmingham Fire and Rescue and five decades as a volunteer youth baseball coach, Rep. Fred Plump is no stranger to service.

Better known in District 55 as “Coach,” Plump, D-Fairfield, said he is honored to have the opportunity to serve in the Alabama Legislature.

“I’ve been serving the community for my entire career,” Plump told Alabama Daily News. “Now I look forward to further serving as a state legislator so I can reach out and do more.”

This opportunity is one Plump has long awaited. He had an unsuccessful run for House Seat 55 in 2006, and later lost an election for the Jefferson County Commission in 2008.

Plump said this time was different as he emerged as the leader of a five-candidate race for the Democratic nomination. He defeated incumbent Rep. Rod Scott, D-Fairfield, who held the seat since 2006, in the June runoff. Plump received 952 votes, 33 more than Scott, a recount confirmed.

“I chose to run again because I had to see if there was something I could do,” Plump said. “Our education system, working with our youth and this crime; there’s too much going on. I said we must stop this; we have to do something.”

Plump campaigned for better schools, more community services, improved neighborhood safety and a stronger economy.

“The biggest problem in our district right now is the drug dealing and the shootings and things such as that,” Plump said. “We’ve got to look at the second amendment, not saying we want to take all the guns away from everybody, but we just need to clean up the streets and stop drugs and guns from coming into our district.”

Plump’s committee assignments include Military and Veterans Affairs, a committee he has looked forward to serving on since he first considering running for the seat.

“During my three years active duty and 37 years with the Army National Guard, I saw some things I didn’t like that we need to put a cap on,” Plump said. “I want to see the way our veterans are treated changed and bettered.”

He is the sponsor of House Bill 92, a bill that would expand the fee exemption for license tags and motor vehicle registrations to all active duty, retired and honorably discharged members of the United States Armed Forces. Under existing law, the fee is exempt for specified members of the Alabama National Guard, disabled veterans and Alabama Gold Star Families.

On a legislative spring break this week, Plump said he’s ready to get back to Montgomery and “get to work for the whole state.”

“Yes, my district is No. 1, but to be successful we need to work across the board to make Alabama the best state,” he said.

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