The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

June 11, 2014

UPDATE: Seibert to focus runoff campaign on his experience

— With exactly five weeks before the July 15 runoff election, Chris Seibert of Athens has to show voters why he is the best choice to be the next state senator for District 1.

That means getting Limestone County voters out to vote. But, it also means getting voters in Madison and Lauderdale counties to see things his way, so to speak.

Seibert received the second-most votes in the June 3 Republican primary election behind Tim Melson, a medical doctor and small-business owner from Florence. Seibert garnered 4,487 votes (36 percent) to Melson’s 4,922 votes (40 percent), a difference of only 435 votes. Because neither Seibert nor Melson received more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff is required. Jonathan Berryhill of Madison received 2,899 and did not make the runoff.

Job-creation experience

Seibert, a sitting Athens City Council member, former Alabama football player, Air Force captain and sales director for a heart-catheterization maker, says he will focus on his experience over his challenger. Melson is a political newcomer.

“I’m still the most qualified candidate, in my opinion,” said Seibert, the son of former Limestone County Commission Chairman David Seibert. “As an Athens city councilman, I have experience in recruiting jobs. Since I’ve been on the council, we have created about 3,000 jobs for Limestone County and Madison (counties), and I am the only candidate who has any experience doing that.”

This job-creation experience should appeal to Lauderdale County voters, Seibert said.

“Lauderdale County has taken it on the chin,” Seibert said, citing job losses at Hillshire Farms, International Paper, HON (an office furniture maker) and others. “That’s where I think my experience can benefit them. Through the Industrial Development Board I have already developed a relationship with members of the (local) legislative delegation. I have been in negotiations and I know how it works.”

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