After a life-changing injury, Ron Crumpton realized he wanted to get involved in government. A Pelham, Alabama, native, Crumpton sustained a back injury as a landscaper for a local bowling alley. After going through the healthcare system, he said he became perturbed at the way things operated.
In 2008, he wrote an article on the legalization of marijuana, kickstarting his political career. From there he became involved in multiple legislative campaigns ranging from women’s rights to minimum wage.
Two years ago, when candidate qualifying closed and no one qualified to run against Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, Crumpton said he decided something needed to be done, so he is campaigning for senator.
“I have, I guess what you call a warrior’s heart,” Crumpton said. “If somebody is not fighting for what’s important to me, then I’ll just do it myself.”
Crumpton said his main focus is education and plans to invest $90 billion per year — $65 billion to repairing, replacing and expanding schools. He also wants to increase increase the minimum wage and ensure equal pay among women and minorities.
"The biggest thing in primary education is equality," Crumpton said.
Crumpton said some school systems such as Talladega do not provide updated technology and appropriate learning environments compared to others such as Mountain Brook.
"What kind of business could operate today without effective computers and Internet and all that?" Crumpton said. "The answer is none. But we expect our teachers to teach our children the skills of the future using the technology of the past, and that just doesn't work out."
He said the United States used to be the front runner in products such as televisions, radios or cars.
"There was a time when we were the smartest country in the world and that was largely because we were the first to require our kids to go to school and because of that we became the innovators," Crumpton said. "If you look at the fall of our share as a global economy and the changes of education, there's a correlation to it."
By 2020, two thirds of all jobs will require either a college education or advanced training such as training required to be a truck driver, according to Crumpton. However, he said less than 40 percent of Americans over 25 years old will be qualified to fill those jobs.
"If we don't do something, you know, those jobs will go overseas," Crumpton said.
Crumpton said politicians need to be able to fight an issue when needed but also work with someone when needed.
"The biggest problem that we have in government is nobody wants to work with anybody," Crumpton said. "You got be to be willing to reach across the aisle and that's something that I have always been willing to do throughout my political career."