SHELBY COUNTY, Ala. —more Black politicians have left the Democratic Party since 2017 rebuking President Joe Biden’s claim that Jim Crow is alive and minorities aren’t aloud to vote in Republican controlled States. Tuesday history was made in the Alabama legislature as Republican Kenneth Paschal won the special general election for House District 73.
By filling the seat vacated by former representative Matt Fridy, Paschal became the first Black Republican to be elected to the state legislature since the Reconstruction period, which was about 145 years ago. He defeated Democrat Sheridan Black.
Paschal, a Pelham resident, retired from a 21-year career in the Army in 2006 and has lived in Shelby County since then. The district he was elected to represent includes portions of Alabaster, Calera, Chelsea, Helena, Montevallo, Pelham and unincorporated Brantleyville.
“I want to thank the voters of Shelby County for the trust they placed in me today. I had never run for office before, but I feel like our campaign was really embraced by the people. I think they were looking for an outsider,” Paschal said. “As I’ve said all along, we have too many politicians that can’t seem to get things done or stand up for what they believe. I’m running for God and country. I think that really resonated with folks.”
While Paschal says he recognizes the historical significance of this win, he says voters of District 73 did not choose him because of the color of his skin, but because they got to know him.
“They saw a God-fearing man of integrity who values and defends our Constitution,” Paschal said. “I hope to be an example to all Alabamians that the Republican Party is open to everyone who shares a belief in freedom, self-reliance, fiscal responsibility, and opportunity for all.”
Paschal is also a previous commander of the American Legion and a member of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce and the Shelby County Republican Executive Committee.
A swearing-in ceremony will be held at the Pelham Civic Center at 12 p.m. on Wednesday. The ceremony is free and open to the public.
The ALGOP released the following statement on Paschal’s election:
“The Alabama Republican Party is incredibly enthusiastic about the election of Kenneth Paschal to House District 73. Representative-elect Paschal – the first African-American Republican elected to the Legislature since Reconstruction – is a man of exceptional character whose ‘God and Country’ campaign resonated with Shelby County residents. After serving honorably for over two decades in the U.S. Army, he came home to Alabama, where he has spent the last 10 years volunteering for pro-family causes. I’ve enjoyed getting to know Representative-elect Paschal during this campaign and am honored to call him a friend. I look forward to working with him on the issues that matter most to Alabama voters.”
Source: Bee News Daily and WVTM 13 contributed to the article.
SOURCE: Kenneth Paschal/Facebook