McClendon likely to run for new Senate district seat

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

COLUMBIANA — State Rep. Jim McClendon, R-Springville, said he will likely run for the new District 11 Senate seat if the state’s redistricting plan is approved by the U.S. Department of Justice.

McClendon made the remark during his keynote address at the South Shelby Chamber of Commerce luncheon Oct. 4 in Columbiana.

Rep. Jim McClendon


Alabama’s House of Representatives and Senate districts are redone every 10 years after the U.S. Census numbers come out to balance representation across the state. As the chairman of the redistricting committee, McClendon is deeply involved with the process, he said.

“It’s a process that has ramifications that last 10 years,” he said.

The ideal Senate district would hold 136,564 people, while the ideal House district would hold 45,521 citizens, McClendon said.

Currently, Rep. Mike Hill, R-Columbiana, represents a district with 73,181 people — 61 percent larger than an ideal district size, McClendon said.

“This is why we go to the trouble to bring things back in balance,” he said.

Under the state’s new redistricting plan, Shelby County would be part of a new Senate District 11, which would include Columbiana, Shelby and Wilsonville and a new House District 73, which would include parts of Maylene, Shelby and Montevallo. The plan will go into effect in 2014 if it is approved by the U.S. Department of Justice, McClendon said.

After McClendon went over the redistricting plan, Columbiana Mayor Stancil Handley stood and asked McClendon if he would be interested in running for the new Senate District 11 seat.

McClendon said if the Department of Justice gives its approval, “you can probably expect me to announce my intentions to run for Senate.”

Andy Erwin, director of “October Baby,” also spoke during the luncheon. Erwin, the son of former state Sen. Hank Erwin, made the film with his brother, Jon.

“The reason I’m a storyteller is because my dad tells stories,” Erwin said. “(‘October Baby’) was a story about forgiveness that happened to be about an abortion survivor.”

Erwin said after distributors passed on the film because of its subject matter, he and his brother decided to release the film themselves. Eventually, the film opened at No. 8 nationally and was the subject of a story on the front page of the New York Times.

Alabama Power sponsored the luncheon, which highlighted businesses and events in the town of Wilsonville.