Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
A spirit that is not afraid

In Alabama Senate District 27, Reese and Hovey square off

A vote here sign sits outside the Dean Road recreation center on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018, in Auburn, Ala.
A vote here sign sits outside the Dean Road recreation center on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018, in Auburn, Ala.

As the midterm elections draw near and key issues become more clear, races for the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives have been at the front of the minds of many prospective voters.

However, there is a local election that will more directly impact Auburn citizens: the race between Sherri Reese and Jay Hovey for Alabama Senate District 27.

Reese, born and raised in Opelika, believes her extensive military service has given her the "skills, training and time" to effectively serve as a state senator.

“People are my passion and serving them is what I did as a Human Resources Officer in the U.S. Army. My love for people and service did not stop with my 24-year retirement from the Army,” her website reads. 

The three issues most prominently addressed by her campaign have been healthcare, criminal justice system reform and education.

Amid a recently-ended prison strike intended to highlight conditions that have been the subject of lawsuits previously filed against the Alabama Department of Corrections by the Justice Department, criminal justice system reform is an important subject to Reese.

“The best way to fight crime is to fight poverty. Instead of going into debt to finance new prison projects, we need to invest in Alabamians," her website said. 

Additionally, Reese has focused her campaign on improving access to healthcare and improving Alabama's education system as both have historically been considered among the very worst in the nation.

"Everyone deserves affordable healthcare. I’ll fight to ensure every Alabamian has access to the care they need – that starts with expanding Medicaid in Alabama," according to her website. "As senator, I’ll fight to better fund Alabama’s public schools, improve teacher pay and retirement benefits, and raise the standard of excellence for our schools."

However, Reese is not the only candidate for District 27 that has made education a central plank of their platform.

Hovey, an Auburn City Councilman who considers himself a conservative Christian, is running on a traditional Republican platform that includes fighting for children both born and unborn, the right to quality education, protecting Second Amendment rights and fighting against government overreach at all levels.

“I’m going to uphold the values of the people who make District 27 great," his website reads.

Hovey, who grew up in southern Lee County, Ala., said on his website that selflessness and service were fundamental principles in his family’s lives as well as his from an early age.

His acts of service can be seen in his role with the Alabama Small Business Advisory Commission, Kiwanis Club, the Auburn Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Lee County and the City of Auburn Greenspace Advisory Board.

“It’s about what’s right for District 27 and the conservative, Christian people of Alabama. I am a servant. I build relationships and connect with others - no matter how they vote - because that’s what makes us a better Alabama,” according to his website.

Yet Hovey was just a single vote and five weeks of controversy away from not being the GOP nominee. 

In May, the Alabama Republican Party declared a tie between Hovey and his primary opponent, Tom Whatley, which was to be settled with the flip of a coin. The GOP committee was scheduled to hold a second hearing and reconsider its decision to count the ballot that led the race to a tie. 

Eventually, Whatley withdrew from the summer primaries after representing District 27 for 10 years and the committee reversed its decision by declaring Hovey the nominee.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Auburn Plainsman delivered to your inbox

Neither campaign was available for comment. 

Bri Johnson | News writer

Bri Johnson, sophomore in journalism, is a news writer at The Plainsman.

Share and discuss “In Alabama Senate District 27, Reese and Hovey square off” on social media.