December 2018 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

The holidays are upon us, but there’s still plenty happening in Alabama’s political scene, including several recent key staff announcements:
  • Governor Kay Ivey makes staff appointments. Governor Ivey announced that former Congressman Jo Bonner would serve in her administration as senior advisor. Bonner represented the 1st Congressional District in southwest Alabama from 2003 to 2013. The governor also announced that Kelly Butler would be state finance director. He has been Acting Finance Director since August. Butler has more than three decades experience as a fiscal analyst with the state. His previous jobs include assistant finance director for fiscal operations and state budget officer.
  • Marsh taps new chief of staff. Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh recently announced that he has chosen Derek Trotter, a government relations advisor to the Butler Snow law firm and former director of legislative affairs to former Governor Robert Bentley, to be his chief of staff. Trotter previously served as Marsh’s communications director from 2011 to 2014 and as a deputy communications director to U. S. Representative Bradley Byrne during his run for governor in 2009 and 2010. Trotter is a native of Trussville and a graduate of Auburn University. He is married and the father of two and lives in the Pike Road Township, just outside Montgomery.
  • Shelby’s Chief of Staff chosen to lead BCA. U.S. Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, recently announced the departure of his chief of staff, Katie Boyd Britt, following the official notice of her decision to serve as president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama (BCA), a non-partisan business association representing companies throughout the state. Britt is a native of Enterprise. She’s served as chief of staff to Senator Shelby since 2016, following her role as deputy campaign manager and communications director during the senator’s most recent reelection campaign. Britt earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and a law degree from the University of Alabama.
  • Check out the full list of recent House Committee appointments made by the Speaker. House Standing Committees with Chairs and Vice Chairs listed:


Chairman Mike Jones (R – Andalusia) and Vice Chair Paul Lee (R – Dothan)

Consent Calendar Subcommittee: Chairwoman Pebblin Warren (D – Tuskegee)

Ways and Means Education

Chairman Bill Poole (R – Tuscaloosa) and Vice Chair Danny Garrett (R – Trussville)

Ways and Means General Fund

Chairman Steve Clouse (R – Ozark) and Vice Chair Kyle South (R – Fayette)

 Agriculture and Forestry

Chairman Danny Crawford (R – Athens) and Vice Chair Steve Hurst (R – Munford)

Boards, Agencies, and Commissions

Chairman Howard Sanderford (R – Huntsville) and Vice Chair Mike Holmes (R – Wetumpka)

Children and Senior Advocacy

Chairman K.L. Brown (R – Jacksonville) and Vice Chair Randall Shedd (R – Cullman)

Commerce and Small Business

Chairman Jim Carns (R – Vestavia) and Vice Chair Dimitri Polizos (R – Montgomery)

Constitution, Campaigns, and Elections

Chairman Matt Fridy (R – Montevallo) and Vice Chair Bob Fincher (R – Woodland)

County and Municipal Government

Chairman Reed Ingram (R – Montgomery) and Vice Chair Margie Wilcox (R – Mobile)

Economic Development and Tourism

Chairwoman Becky Nordgren (R – Gadsden) and Vice Chair Ron Johnson (R – Sylacauga)

Education Policy

Chairwoman Terri Collins (R – Decatur) and Vice Chair Danny Garrett (R – Trussville)

Ethics and Campaign Finance

Chairman Mike Ball (R – Madison) and Vice Chair Rich Wingo (R – Tuscaloosa)

Financial Services

Chairman Chris Blackshear (R – Phenix City) and Vice Chair Jimmy Martin (R – Clanton)

Fiscal Responsibility

Chairman Chris Sells (R – Greenville) and Vice Chair Mike Holmes (R – Wetumpka)


Chairwoman April Weaver (R – Brierfield) and Vice Chair Ron Johnson (R – Sylacauga)


Chairman Kerry Rich (R – Albertville) and Vice Chair Corley Ellis (R – Columbiana)

Internal Affairs

Chairman Randy Wood (R – Anniston) and Vice Chair Nathaniel Ledbetter (R – Rainsville)


Chairman Jim Hill (R – Odenville) and Vice Chair Tim Wadsworth (R – Arley)

Local Legislation

Chairman Alan Baker (R – Brewton) and Vice Chair Ritchie Whorton (R – Valley)

Military and Veterans Affairs 

Chairman Dickie Drake (R – Leeds) and Vice Chair Connie Rowe (R – Jasper)

Public Safety and Homeland Security

Chairman Allen Treadaway (R – Morris) and Vice Chair Allen Farley (R – McCalla)

 State Government Chairman Chris Pringle (R – Mobile) and Vice Chair Chris Sells (R – Greenville)

Technology and Research

Chairman Joe Lovvorn (R – Auburn) and Vice Chair Corey Harbison (R – Good Hope)

Transportation, Utilities, and Infrastructure

Chairman Lynn Greer (R – Rogersville) and Vice Chair Joe Faust (R – Fairhope)

Urban and Rural Development

Chairman Randall Shedd (R – Cullman) and Vice Chair David Standridge (R – Hayden)

December 2018 Group Watch: Gov Ivey Announces Inauguration Theme

The inaugural theme for Governor Kay Ivey will be “Keep Alabama Growing.” Ivey and other constitutional office holders will be sworn into office on January 14. Ivey inaugural committee co-chairs Jimmy Rane and Cathy Randall say the theme underscores Alabama’s campaign promises on job growth and education. Ivey, who had been the state’s lieutenant governor, became governor last year following the resignation of then Governor Robert Bentley. She won the office in her own right in November after defeating Democratic challenger Walt Maddox. For more inaugural information, go to

December 2018 Group Watch: Tweet of the Month

Dec. 14

“My nephew got to open the only Christmas gift he asked for a few days early, and his reaction broke my heart.”

December 2018 Group Watch: Infrastructure Top 2019 Priority

House majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter and Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed both said recently that improving the state’s roads will be a major goal of the 2019 legislative session, which is critical to sustaining the state economy. Their remarks reinforced signals from the legislature that the state’s gas tax, the key source of money for road maintenance, will be a major focus when legislators convene this spring. Legislators have not addressed the 18-cent tax, a combination of three separate levies, since 1992.

December 2018 Group Watch: Happy Holidays!

Things never stop moving in Alabama politics and government, but we’re taking moment to soak in all the holiday spirit around us and hope that you do too. Everyone here at The Bloom Group wishes a Merry Christmas and a very happy and prosperous New Year to you and yours!

November 2018 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

While midterm elections around the country had some interesting results, here in Alabama, things played out true to past form. Republicans kept their super majority in the legislature. They also retained all of the constitutional offices. Here’s a quick recap:

  • Governor Kay Ivey became the first Republican woman elected governor in the State of Alabama. Lurleen Wallace who succeeded her husband George Wallace was elected as a Democrat in the 1960s. Ivey won a crushing victory over her Democratic challenger by a 60-40 margin.
  • Will Ainsworth was elected Lt. Governor with 61% of the vote.
  • Steve Marshall was elected Attorney General with 59% of the vote.
  • Rick Pate was unopposed for Agriculture Commissioner.
  • Greg Reed re-elected Alabama State Senate majority leader: The Senate Republican caucus met the day after elections for their caucus meeting and re-elected Senator Greg Reed of Jasper as the Senate Majority Leader. The vote was unanimous. When the legislature meets in its organizational meeting, Senator Del Marsh is expected to return as Senate Pro Tem.
  • McCutcheon unanimously nominated as Speaker: The 77 members of the Alabama House Republican Caucus unanimously voted to nominate Mac McCutcheon of Madison to continue to serve as Speaker. The nomination is tantamount to election since Republicans hold a super majority. The caucus also nominated Victor Gaston of Mobile to continue to serve as Speaker Pro Tem.

November 2018 Group Watch: Education Leaders Want More $ For Classrooms

The Alabama State Board of Education wants to put more money toward classroom supplies to relieve some of the pressure on classroom teachers. The board recently approved a budget recom-mendation asking lawmakers for $600 per teacher. The current rate is $536 per teacher. They are also asking for an additional $11.2 million for technology, professional development, library enhancement and textbooks. Other budget priorities include preschool, special education and school safety.

November 2018 Group Watch: AL Ranked in Top 10 in Biz Climate

National publication Site Selection rated Alabama No. 8 in its business climate analysis. The rating reflects the state’s consistent attractiveness for high value economic development projects. Alabama scored in the top ten in 2016 and 2017. Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said the primary objective of the state’s economic development team is to facilitate the creation of high caliber jobs that benefit the citizens and communities. Governor Kay Ivey won election recently after campaigning on her success at improving the state’s economy, recruiting new jobs and record low unemployment.

November 2018 Group Watch: Happy Thanksgiving!

‘Tis the season to count blessings and show gratitude, so as always, we’d like to tell our clients how much we appreciate the opportunity to represent you and your interests. Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

November 2018 Group Watch: Tweet of the Month

Nov. 9
My son Hannon finished the Highlands College Half Marathon today. I’m so proud of him and his commitment. @HighlandsAL@HCollege

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