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AL-05: It's Official - Taze Shepard is Running for Congress

by: mooncat

Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 18:35:50 PM CST

With his wife, Pam Lang Shepard, at his left hand and the American flag at his right, Taze Shepard stood before of a portrait of John Sparkman and told the world he intends to be the next Congressman from North Alabama.

Shepard stressed the need for North Alabama's congressman to work with others and to represent the district first in Washington, asserting that he knows how to build relationships and work with people he may not agree with to get the job done.  Shepard said the economy is the most important issue in North Alabama, but roads and schools must also rank high on the "to do" list for our next Congressman. 

Here is video of the entire press conference.  A partial transcript is below the fold.

In addition to what was already known about about Shepard, the press handout today included a few more nuggets of information.  He served as:

  • Chairman of the Governor's Commission on School Violence from 1993-1995
  • Vice-Chairman of the Alabama Space and Science Exhibit Commission from 1995-2000
  • Member, Board of Directors of the Huntsville Arts Council from 2000-2002
  • Member, Board of Directors of the Alabama Supercomputer Authority from 2002-2007
  • Lecturer, Peoples' Law School.

He is also a member of the local Rotary Club, the National Rifle Association and the First United Methodist Church in Huntsville.

A week ago we managed a brief interview with Taze Shepard and he offered some insight into the type of campaign he will run -- a personal one.

My campaign is going to be built on going out and talking to people.  The most surprising thing to me since I've been in this for, basically a week, is when I go talk to the Probate Judge in Jackson County or I go talk to the Sheriff in Limestone County, I am virtually the only person who has come to see them about congressional issues.  And I can't imagine running a campaign any other way than connecting with people, not only elected officials, but the elected officials, the party officials and everybody individually who has an interest in their future.  So you will see me traveling around the district, not just for media events, but for opportunities to talk to people and listen to them.  And if their problems are things that I can help with them in Congress, then I will know, when I go to Washington, exactly where my first priorities need to be.

Today Shepard told me he truly enjoys meeting and talking with new people and his wife Pam is extremely upbeat and easy to talk to.  She was all smiles while chatting with the media today despite suffering from a sinus infection -- now that's a tough political spouse!  The Shepards strike me as a couple of happy warriors -- a good thing since they're sure to meet a lot of new people in the next few months.

As of this morning, Shepard was the only Democrat to have officially filed qualifying papers although both Mitchell Howie and Steve Raby have indicated they will also run as Democrats.  The AL-05 seat is currently held by former Democrat Parker Griffith who is facing significant opposition of his own in the Republican primary.

Related posts:

AL-05: Taze Shepard to Enter the Race Tomorrow
Who is Taze Shepard?
More on Taze Shepard
A Worthwhile Trip to Jackson County

mooncat :: AL-05: It's Official - Taze Shepard is Running for Congress

Partial Transcript of today's press conference, emphasis mine:

My name is Taze Shepard I am delighted to tell you that I have filed my qualifying papers in Montgomery and I am now officially a candidate for the seat in Congress from the 5th district in North Alabama.

The number one topic of our campaign for the Fifth District will be the promotion of economic prosperity and economic growth across North Alabama.

In this time of stagnation and uncertainty in the national economy ... the most important word in our vocabulary has to be "jobs" -- jobs relating to NASA, jobs relating to the Army, jobs relating to TVA ... existing jobs that a congressman can preserve and new jobs tht that congressman should bring to North Alabama.

My family has lived in North Alabama for over 100 years.  The values of this district and its importance to our national security are at my core.  With your help and support, I will work tirelessly to provide the same kind of leadership the district has enjoyed with other men from North Alabama like Bud Cramer, Ronnie Flippo, Bob Jones and John Sparkman.  And like these great men from North Alabama, I can work with Democrats and Republicans to get the results for this district.

Asked why voters should choose him over the rest of the field ...

I understand the political process, I understand what people here need and I'm always willing to learn more.  Specifically, I've already been in 5 of the 7 counties and by the end of this week I will have been in every part of this district to talk to local leaders ... anyone who wants to tell me what their concerns and interest are.  And I view the congressman as someone who represents their district first in Washington.  You can work with the national leaders whether you agree with them or not, because it's about relationships.

You don't have to accept every national program or every national debate  in order to say, "We need funding for NASA, we need jobs in the Shoals, we need to fix the roads in Lauderdale county."  And that's what I'm committing to and that's what I will do for our district.

Asked about the relevance of his grandfather ...

I don't expect or would not even want anyone to vote for me because of who I am in terms of my famiy heritage, but I want them to undertand that so they can understand me and my outlook.  ...  I grew up spending a lot of time with my grandfather.  I knew him very well and was very proud of him.  And I saw how he put helping people ahead of his personal advancement many times.  ...  If you're more interested in results than in personal fame or achievement, you'll get a lot done.


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Taze impressed me (4.00 / 1)
He's not quite Anthony Weiner but he's definitely a Democrat.

Website || Twitter

Go gem em' Taze!!! (4.00 / 1)

He needs to listen to his G0P opponents. They are nothing but political spammers. They offer NOTHING. Attack eveything they say and it will be an easy victory.

 I AM going to have to hear what Taze's stance on global warming is. (even with all the Climategate rhetoric, the numbers are not looking good at all for mankind's future)

October 2012 was the 332nd consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last month with below-average temperature was February 1985. - N.O.A.A.

We're screwed (0.00 / 0)
The train has left the station.  Earth's climate is going to change drastically.  Our best hope now is adaptation -- i.e., science may save our fat from the fire.

Work harder and work smarter!

[ Parent ]
The fight is not over (4.00 / 1)

Even if coal & gas became illegal worldwide tomorrow (with a few exceptions like military, police, certain factories, etc...) the planet is still going to continue to warm. But how many billion/trillion dollar band-aids to we want to pay for in the future? There really will be no way to adapt at some point in time if we continue on our present course. It would simply cost too much.

 The goal is to prevent a major thawing of the world's perafrost. It that thaws, it would release enough methane to double man's green gas contribution. (then the Greenland ice sheet collapses and THEN were screwed)

I encourage eveybody (Taze especially) to watch the film "Earth 2100"



October 2012 was the 332nd consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average. The last month with below-average temperature was February 1985. - N.O.A.A.

[ Parent ]
Getting around (4.00 / 1)

To talk to the sheriffs, county commissoners and other local leaders before starting the run seems a good foundation.

I have to say I'm feeling a little gun-shy since Griffith talked a good Democratic game, too.

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
- John Adams

Once burned, twice shy (0.00 / 0)

And Griffith absolutely burned our hands off.  So, Taze certainly has the plus that we know the kind of people he comes from.  He has roots here, which Griffith didn't.  I haven't yet done my research to see what Raby's roots are like (frankly didn't think he would pull the trigger) and Howie has local roots, but he himself has been elsewhere for most of his life, which adds a different element of uncertainty.

This is like vetting a suitor for your daughter or son -- you don't just want to meet the kid, you want to meet the whole damned family before agreeing to the marriage.

Work harder and work smarter!

[ Parent ]
Graphic Design, etc. (4.00 / 1)

I love the choice of fonts and layout in the sign on the podium. There are still candidates that don't realize how important that is to a campaign's presentation. Good job, Team Taze.

I also like the commonsense manner in which Mr. Shepard speaks. I'd recommend Westen Strategies for campaign consulting and strategy for this campaign. They're based in Atlanta, not D.C., so they understand the landscape for Democratic candidates in the South.

I think they would be a really good choice for this campaign. 


"This is not a Republican or a Democratic issue. This is about the whole system being against us." - an Occupy protester at Obama's Des Moines office.



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