Local woman politically perfect

Published 12:47 pm Tuesday, October 20, 2009

One of the most interesting parts of my job is getting to meet and write about such a variety of people, and hearing the stories they tell about moments in their lives that influenced them.

Recently, I met Dr. Robert Bentley, who toured our area as part of his campaign to secure the Republican nomination for Alabama governor.

Bentley, who recently retired from his long-time Tuscaloosa dermatology practice, has been a state representative since 2002. He ran unopposed for that job in 2006.

Many of you know Bentley is a native of Columbiana and a graduate of Shelby County High School. His roots here are deep.

Bentley was quite impressive and presented some concrete plans for the state if elected. You can read more about those plans on his Web site, RobertBentley2010.com.

I asked him to tell me about his first political race. Turns out, it was when he ran for student government president at Shelby County High School, a race he won.

Bentley said at that time, students in seventh through 12th grade all cast ballots. He knew he needed someone who could deliver for him the seventh grade vote.

Who did he choose to lead that effort? None other than Columbiana’s own Peg Hill.

Hill leading a political candidate to success — even if it was in the seventh grade — should come as a surprise to no one. Her brother, Mike Hill, our state representative, could likely tell you how effective she has been in helping with his campaign.

She campaigned for herself successfully when she won a seat on the Shelby County Board of Education.

On my second day of work here last December, I went with my publisher, Tim Prince, to the South Shelby Chamber luncheon.

The highlight of that event for me was Peg Hill. Her enthusiasm is infectious and humor delightful. It’s easy to see that she could win friends and influence voters today as well as she could as a seventh grader in Columbiana.