State Rep. Dickie Drake, R-Leeds, has represented Alabama House District 45 for 11 years, and this year he has a challenger from Hoover’s Greystone community.
Former banker Susan DuBose is seeking to unseat Drake in the May 24 Republican primary for the district, which includes parts of north Shelby County, eastern Jefferson County and southwest St. Clair County, including parts of Chelsea, Greystone, Highland Lakes, Leeds, Mt Laurel and Shoal Creek.
Drake said he believes the Legislature is doing a great job in Montgomery, noting that the body this year passed its highest education budget ever and that the state’s unemployment rate is at a record low level.
However, there is still more work to do, Drake said. Alabama remains at the bottom of the list in terms of education, and “we’ve got to improve on that,” he said.
The Legislature has added more money for additional science, technology, engineering and math teachers, which should help, he said.
DuBose said she believes the schools in Hoover and Shelby County are good but not in some other parts of the state and “that affects us all.” She would like to see more charter schools, more school choice options and an increased focus on technical and vocational education options.
DuBose said she also wants to be diligent about what is taught to students in Alabama public schools when it comes to things like gender issues and critical race theory. Those things need to be addressed by parents, and decisions about curriculum need to be made as close to the local level as possible, she said.
Other issues DuBose counts as important include maintaining the integrity of Alabama elections, protecting people’s right to bear arms, keeping government limited and protecting people from government mandates like mask and vaccine mandates and government orders that close businesses.
DuBose also said she is pro-business and wants to have an environment where businesses can grow and bring more jobs.
DuBose said she disagreed with the Legislature’s decision in 2019 to raise the state tax on gas and diesel fuel by 10 cents per gallon over three years and favors rescinding that increase. She also wants to look at rescinding the state’s 4% sales tax.
Drake, who voted in favor of the gas tax increase, said it was necessary to provide money to take care of Alabama’s deteriorating roads and bridges. There are 110,200 miles of highways in Alabama, and “it costs money to build ‘em and repair ‘em,” Drake said.
Drake also touts himself as being pro-Second Amendment, pro-life and pro-business.
Drake, 76, was first elected to House District 45 in a special election in 2011 and then re-elected in 2014 and 2018. He said he thoroughly enjoys helping the people of his district, and his position as a legislator allows him to do that.
Drake, who spent 42 years with the U.S. Air Force and retired in 2006, is chairman of the House Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs and vice chairman of the state’s Military Stability Commission. He also serves on the House Judiciary Committee and Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.
ON THE ISSUES
- SUSAN DUBOSE said she favors limited government, rescinding recent gas tax increases, improving education and helping businesses grow.
- DICKIE DRAKE said he wants to continue to improve education and be pro-Second Amendment, pro-life and pro-business.
Drake, who has lived in Leeds since 1949, also is a board member of the Leeds Chamber of Commerce, past president of the Leeds Historical Society, past president of Leeds Youth Baseball, deacon at Leeds First Baptist Church and board member of Three Hots and a Cot, an organization that supports homeless veterans.
He has been married 51 years and has two sons, both in the military.
DuBose, 59, worked as a residential, commercial and construction loan officer and business development officer for Compass Bank for over 12 years before becoming a stay-at-home mom to raise her two children in 1997.
She is president of the Republican Women of North Shelby County, is on the Governmental Affairs Committee and Women’s Business Council for the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Shelby County Republican Party Executive Committee.
She has served as vice president of the Greater Birmingham Republican Women, was an alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention in 2020 and served on a strike team for Donald Trump’s campaign in Florida.
She has been married 33 years and moved from Mobile to north Shelby County in 1988.
For more information, go to dickiedrakeforhouse.com and susandubose.com.