White, Baker vie for state rep
By By Lisa Tindell
Voters will go to the polls Nov. 7 to decide who will hold the seat for the office of state representative for District 66, which includes Baldwin and Escambia County.
Candidates are Democratic incumbent F.P. "Skippy" White and Alan Baker.
Incumbent for the office is F.P. "Skippy" White. White was elected to the office in 1982. He was born July 7, 1941. He and his wife, Clara, are the parents of three children: Todd, Hugh, and Sarah Anne. In addition to serving as a firefighter for the City of Pensacola for 12 years, White served as a councilman for the City of Pollard for seven years.
White indicated funding the general fund is the one of the main issues facing Alabama.
"The general fund funds everything in the state except education," White said. "There is generally not much room for financial growth but the growth can increase."
Economic growth in Escambia County is a concern for the area, and candidates were questioned about possible actions on the part of their office to help insure that growth.
"There is very little I can do to insure growth," White said. "On the advice from a study at the University of Alabama, I have helped to reorganize the Escambia County Industrial Development Authority. The study helped a lot in that area."
White said he has campaigned in many ways ranging from face-to-face contact with constituents; radio, television and newspaper advertising; political cards, fliers, and other handout materials as well as press conferences and other political functions.
Baker, a native of Brewton, is retired from public education with 27 years of service. He taught in areas of history and was a multi-sport coach. He currently heads his business career in mortgage and refinancing maintaining an office in Brewton.
He and his wife, Kaki Stokes Baker, are active members of First Baptist Church of Brewton. He serves as a board member for the American Red Cross, Brewton Habitat for Humanity and the Brewton Area YMCA. In addition, Baker is a member of the Escambia County Retired Teachers Association, Escambia County Historical Society, Brewton Kiwanis Club and a supporter of PALS (People Against a Littered State). He is a graduate of T.R. Miller High School and Auburn University.
Baker said the most important issues facing Alabama are education, economic development and rising health-care costs.
"I do want to address government accountability as well, in relation to elections and legislative operations," Baker said.
Baker said he believes that to insure economic growth in Escambia County the infrastructure must be improved.
"Links to the interstate need to be improved so that we can better attract new business and industry," Baker said. "Proposed ideas or projects, if not actively and aggressively pushed, take a back seat and often become dormant like Hwy. 113 which has had its rights-of-way available for four-laning for many years. I will directly and actively monitor existing infrastructure planned improvements for Highway 113 and Highway 41 as well as the Rivercane project in Atmore."
Baker also said he does recognize the importance and need to retain and assist existing businesses to entice their growth and expansion.
Baker said he has campaigned for more than a year by getting out into grassroots in meeting people all across the district. He has been involved in town meetings; visited local businesses; attended community functions, athletic events, civic meetings and meeting voters in face-to-face situations.