Newton, Sells speak at GOP rally

Published 3:12 pm Friday, April 18, 2014

Butler and Lowndes County Republicans enjoyed politics and barbecue on Thursday night at Bates House of Turkey when nearly a dozen candidates or their representatives came to meet and chat at the event sponsored by the Butler and Lowndes County GOP.

Among those in attendance were Rep. Charles Newton and Chris Sells. Both are seeking the Republican nomination for District 90 in the Alabama House of Representatives.

Newton was first elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 1989. He represents all of Butler County and Crenshaw County, and portions of Conecuh County, Coffee County and Montgomery County.

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He currently serves as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Public Safety Committee.

“I’m running for one reason,” Newton said. “That reason is that I believe we need people in government who believe that government belongs to the people. The government doesn’t belong to agencies or to government officials. It belongs to the people.”

Newton said his experience as owner of Newton Oil Company gives him valuable perspective when it comes to helping shape the state’s laws.

“It helps me see that free enterprise will work if government will let it work,” he said. “I believe we can do that in this state and country.”

Sells, who owns Sells Medical Equipment in Greenville, said he never imagined he’d be seeking office.

“I got into this race because I have a daughter, and I’m concerned about her future and the future of our state,” he said.

Sells said he believes his experience as a business owner would be an asset to the district.

“The way to be successful at business is to work hard and when you see an opportunity take advantage of it,” he said. “I’ve been able to do that in business and have success. I believe I can do the same thing in government.”

Sells said his primary focus would be on improving education, developing a workforce and creating jobs.

“We’ve got to have a workforce that knows how to work, and we’ve got to have jobs for them when they get out of school,” he said.

Other candidates in attendance were Jim Perdue, who is seeking the office of Secretary of State, Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey, Rep. Martha Roby, and Chip Beeker, who is seeking Place 2 on the Public Service Commission. Representatives for Agriculture Commissioner John McMillian, John Merrill, who is seeking the office of Secretary of State, and Jeremy Oden, who is seeking Place 1 on the Public Service Commission, were also on hand.

Along with hearing from the candidates, those in attendance had the opportunity to register to vote and to pick up information on absentee voting.