On this second day of 2022, I find myself reflecting on various people and events from my past. Given that the first week of my campaign for the Republican nomination for Secretary of State is winding down, I’ve been thinking about the start of my career as an election administrator.

Those reflections led me to think about former Secretary of State Jim Bennett. He played an important part in my becoming an election administrator in Alabama. He recruited me to come back to Alabama after I accepted a job in North Carolina. I had worked two years with him previously when I was with a unit at Auburn University which had contracts with the Secretary of State, mainly to implement programs under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.

Working with Secretary of State Jim Bennett and Anita Tatum, Director of Voter Registration

The accompanying photo is from those early years when I worked closely with Secretary Bennett. In the photo is me (left), Secretary Bennett (center), and Anita Tatum (right), the Director of the former Office of Voter Registration. Ms. Tatum’s office was merged into the Secretary of State’s office later.

Unfortunately, we lost Secretary Bennett in 2016 to cancer

Secretary Bennett served an incredible 12 years as Secretary of State, not to mention his other service to the people of Alabama in the Alabama House of Representatives and Alabama Senate.

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with him and for him. He was the consummate public servant and an amazing role model for my career.

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