These candidates come from all kinds of backgrounds – except politics


Maybe it’s the “Trump Effect”? Maybe it’s the “Doug Jones Effect”? Whatever you want to call it, more and more people have been inspired to run for office in recent months. Candidates have come from all backgrounds and all across the state to vie for the chance to be your next elected official. Let’s took a look at some of these “new kids on the block”.

Scott Dawson – Republican Candidate for Governor (Evangelist)
governor candidate
Scott Dawson – via Hoover Sun

If you have been on any interstate within the last few months, you’ve likely seen “Scott Dawson for Governor” signs. And while the campaign seems to be going well, Dawson himself has never served in politics. The Republican candidate has spent most of his professional career as an evangelical preacher. He is the founder and Chief Development Officer of the Scott Dawson Evangelical Association.

Christopher Countryman – Democratic Candidate for Governor (Community Advocate)
via Christopher A. Countryman for Governor on Facebook

Mr. Countryman’s campaign website credits his trials in life as the reason he is so passionate about serving Alabama’s people. After overcoming several learning disabilities, Christopher attended Bible College and served as a youth pastor. He also has been involved in community outreach programs, as well as co-founding Equality Wiregrass, an organization that fights for marriage equality.


Anthony “Tater” Blackmon – Republican Candidate for US House District 4 (Veteran and Firefighter)
Anthony “Tater” Blackmon – via

Mr. Blackmon doesn’t hesitate to admit he’s new to the political arena. On his campaign website, he writes, “I have no political experience; however, what I do have is common sense and rational thought which allows for a strategic approach to decision making.” Blackmon is a graduate of Cullman High School and currently lives in Cullman with his wife and their son.

Mallory Hagan – Democratic Candidate for US House District 3 (Former Miss America)
Mallory Hagan – via Mallory Hagan for Congress on Facebook

A native of Opelika, Alabama, Hagan won the Miss America Pageant while competing as Miss New York in 2013. She currently works for WLTZ First News NBC 38 in Columbus, Georgia as a reporter. Mallory said she was inspired to run for office after being at the center of a national controversy. A former Miss America CEO’s emails were released, in which he bullied Hagan. She says this experience taught her about the power of voice and she hopes to be a voice for all Alabamians.

James Bowling – Republican Candidate for Alabama House District 9 (Businessman)
via James R. Bowling for State Representative District 9 on Facebook

Bowling started his own trucking company after working in his dad’s painting business. He says that he experienced firsthand the effect that Obamacare had on his family and his business. He began working for a chemical company, where he still works. Bowling hopes to be a proponent of limited government, a strong defender of the 2nd Amendment, and education.

Terri Jones Savage – Democratic Candidate for Alabama House District 9 (histotechologist… and sister of Doug Jones)
via Terri Jones Savage on Facebook

You read that right. Doug Jones sister has decided to perhaps follow in her brother’s footsteps. Savage has previously worked in medical technology. The district encompasses parts of Cullman, Marshall, and Morgan counties.

Neil Rafferty – Democratic Candidate for Alabama House District 54 (Former Marine and BAO Outreach Director)
Neil Rafferty – via Neil Rafferty on Facebook

The openly gay ex-marine announced on Facebook that he will be running for House District 54’s vacant seat. Rafferty currently serves as the Outreach Director for the Birmingham AIDS Outreach. He faces Jerome Dees and Jacqueline Gray Miller in the primary.

Joy Johns – Republican Candidate for Alabama House District 81 (Insurance Professional)
Joy Johns via

Joy Johns is an insurance agent and mother who is hoping to be the voice of the people in Alabama’s House District 81. She is a member of the Tallapoosa County GOP, Coosa County GOP, Tallapoosa County Farmer’s Federation, Alexander City Chamber of Commerce, Dadeville Chamber of Commerce, and the Alabama Independent Insurance Agents.