Legislators react to state, national election results

Published 12:25 pm Wednesday, November 7, 2012

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Shelby County’s legislators said they were “disappointed” with the Nov. 6 presidential election results, but said they were happy with Alabama’s local races and turnouts.

During the election, more than 79 percent of Shelby County’s voters took to the polls and voted overwhelmingly in favor of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Nationwide, incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama defeated Romney to earn a second term in office.

“I was really pulling for Romney,” said state Sen. Slade Blackwell, R-Birmingham. “The economy was a big issue in this election, and I hope we can start getting our unemployment down and get the economy moving in the right direction. I hope President Obama can do that.”

State Rep. Mike Hill, R-Columbiana, said he had his “hopes up until about 11 p.m.,” but encouraged Republicans and Democrats to work together to benefit the country.

“I hope the Congress and the president can come up with some things to move the country forward. It will take both parties to do that,” Hill said, noting Republicans will have a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and Democrats will have a majority in the U.S. Senate.

State Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, echoed Hill’s comments.

“I was surprised. I thought the (presidential) race would be a little closer,” Ward said. “But the voters spoke, and we need to respect the process.”

State Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin, R-Indian Springs, said she was worried about the national presidential election results.

“I was very disappointed on a national level,” McClurkin said. “I think we are headed down a bad road again.”

The local legislators said they were mostly pleased with the state’s passage of several new amendments to the Alabama Constitution. Of the 11 amendments on the ballot, only one failed to pass.

“I’m still trying to figure that out,” Hill said of amendment four’s failure. “Someone spent a lot of money trying to kill that.”

Proponents of amendment four said it would have removed racist language from the state constitution, and opponents claimed it would harm the state’s right to public education.