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Several sitting House Republicans draw primary challengers

By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News

According to June campaign filings, at least three sitting House members have GOP primary challengers who plan to raise funds against them.

In House District 14, which covers parts of Winston and Walker counties, two-term Rep. Tim Wadsworth, R-Arley, is being challenged by Cory Franks, who is a 10-year law enforcement officer and in his second term as mayor of Oakman in Walker County. He said the town has made improvements during his service.

“I feel it’s time to go and serve in another capacity,” Franks said. “… I want to see every community in the district thrive. And if I can assist in that, that’s the type of representative I want to be.”

Wadsworth could not be reached for comment.

The Alabama Legislature’s two parties are almost entirely divided along racial lines. There are two white Democrats currently. Franks, who is Black, said he is a Republican because he’s a fiscal conservative.

“For so long, I feel, in the Black culture we were raised up in our families as being Democrats. So, a lot of times who just drift to that and think you have to be a Democrat. But as you get older, you look at different things — policies, not people — and you go with what best suits you, what best represents you.”

In House District 20, Republican Frances Taylor is running for the seat currently held by Rep. Howard Sanderford, R-Huntsville.

Sanderford has not made public his plans for 2022 and the south Huntsville district he’s represented since 1989.

Taylor ran against Sanderford in a three-person GOP primary in 2010.

“I hold conservative values as a long-time Republican,” said Taylor, who is third vice-president of the National Federation of Republican Women. She said some of her priorities include keeping taxes and regulation on industry low and quality education and workforce development.

In House District 48, Rep. Jim Carns, R-Birmingham, is running for reelection and being challenged by Republican William Wentowsk of Vestavia for the district that covers parts of Jefferson and Shelby counties.

In a press release Tuesday, Carns confirmed that he will be running for reelection.

“I’m excited to announce I am running for re-election,” Carns said.  “We made several conservative reforms this past session including protecting our election laws, keeping our small businesses and churches open during a pandemic and passing record budgets for education, but there is still more work to be done.”

Wentowski ran against Carns in the 2018 primary and received about 23% of the vote.

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