Candidates for election lack knowledge of Black Belt

Published 5:46 pm Thursday, October 7, 2010

The well being of the Black Belt region hangs in the hands of those who would assume to political office later this year.

And it appears, with the exception of one candidate for Congress, those seeking office would pay lip service to the region, but not come with well thought-out plans for this portion of the state.

Terri Sewell, the candidate for the 7th Congressional District seat given up by Artur Davis’ failed run for governor, attended public hearings, studied the maps and asked pointed questions of engineers and Alabama Department of Transportation officials a couple of months ago about a suggested extention of Interstate 85.

Email newsletter signup

She has spoken often of the infrastructure needs of the Black Belt, a portion of District 7. She is cautious. She will support efforts to see the project through to fruition, but she wants the route of the interstate to benefit the cities and towns of the Black Belt.

So far, Sewell has questions, as do many who have seen the preferred route.

That is the benefit of knowledge.

Meanwhile, the two candidates for governor, who will control the monies designated for highway construction, have said they believe I-85’s extension would be good for the Black Belt, but Democrat Ron Sparks and Republican Dr. Robert Bentley do not offer details.

Could their lack of knowledge lead to a lack of depth when talking about the project?

After all, in a speech to a civic club in North Alabama, Sparks pulled out 20 highway projects and began to talk about how his plan would see that area’s businesses and services boom.

So, why not the Black Belt, gentlemen? Why not the Black Belt?