Hill earns bid for seventh term in State House

Published 9:32 pm Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Only a few minutes after polls closed June 1, a parking spot on Mike Hill’s street was hard to come by.

A steady stream of well-wishers made their way to his home — all of them intent on showing support and extending congratulations to Hill, who easily earned his party’s nomination for a seventh term as representative of Alabama’s 41st district in the State House.

However, an equal motivation, many confessed, was to avail themselves of Carol Hill’s famous election night spread. She did not disappoint.

Hill topped political newcomer Stephen Bryant. With 36 of 37 precincts reporting, Hill had 6,402 votes to Bryant’s 2.029.

Despite his experience with election nights, Hill said he takes nothing for granted.

“I get butterflies. I have them right now. I always get a little nervous,” he said. “Always in the back of your mind, you wonder if people still like you, you wonder if you’ll really get their vote.”

Election nights for the Hills are a family affair.

Hill and Carol chatted comfortably with their friends and family. Hill’s sister, Peg, a member of the Shelby County Board of Education, was dispatched to the courthouse at about 7:30 p.m. to monitor results and phone them back to the Hill home.

Hill’s father, Elvin, the former long-time Shelby County superintendent of schools, was there, lending his support to his son.

Hill’s son, Hunter, was there, too, talking politics with his dad and helping to greet supporters.

Despite a family legacy that dates back a number of generations in Alabama politics, Hunter is following a different path. He is in his second year of law school at the University of Alabama and plans to earn dual degrees — his master’s in business and his law degree — then on to a career in corporate finance.

“Mom was pregnant with me when my dad ran for his first time,” Hunter said.

Hill’s first race was in 1986.

“I was running against Sonny Moore, who was a pretty big legislator,” Hill said. “He had far more money than I had, but I had my father and everyone knew him. He would come get me and we’d go from retired teacher’s house to retired teacher’s house, asking for their support. And, dad would tell all of them, ‘Now, we want you to get on the phone and tell other people to vote for Mike, too,’ ”

Hill said his hope is for a Republican Senate and a Republican House.

“In that event, we could get something done on ethics reform. But until that happens, nothing will,” Hill said.