Several candidates announce campaigns

Published 6:09 pm Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Several political candidates have announced their intentions to run for office in the coming elections.

Those who recently officially announced include Thad Moore Jr., who has qualified as a Democrat for tax assessor; Tim Pettis, who has qualified as a Republican for tax collector; and Sheriff Grover Smith.

Grover Smith

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Smith, who has qualified as a Democrat, has been the county’s sheriff for the last 11 years, and is seeking re-election to his fourth term.

“My major goal for the next term is expansion of the work program we began two years ago with inmates picking up trash on our county roads,” he said. “They have already removed more than a million pounds of trash from our county.

“An intense boot camp type work program integrated with a strong drug intervention program in the jail is the best hope we have to turn offenders away from drugs.”

Smith has been a law enforcement officer for 41 years, and has received training at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va., and the Argenbright School of Polygraph in Atlanta. He has served as the president of both the Alabama Association of Chiefs of Police and the Alabama Sheriff’s Association.

Smith invites any citizen with questions or concerns to call him at (251) 368-4779 in Atmore, (251) 809-2141 in Brewton, or (251) 867-9537 at his home.

“Regardless of the election result, I want to thank you for allowing me to serve as sheriff of our county,” he said.

Thad Moore

Moore is a licensed real estate property appraiser in the state of Alabama, and has been working in the field for 15 years. He said this job experience would be beneficial if he is elected as the county’s tax assessor. Moore and Malcolm “Bub” Gideons have qualified as Democrats, and Sarah McMillan has qualified as a Republican.

“During this time, I have appraised thousands of properties in Escambia County,” Moore said. “I have a large amount of experience using the computer programs used in this office and dealing with the employees in this office. I feel that my experience is a perfect match for this job.”

Moore serves on the board of directors for the Brewton Area YMCA, and the Brewton Area Chamber of Commerce. He is also a member and past president of the Brewton Rotary Club, and serves as the site selection committee chairman for Escambia County Habitat for Humanity.

He credited his parents for instilling his strong work ethic and integrity.

“My mother, Cindy Moore, was a school teacher and then the registrar at Jefferson Davis Community College,” he said. “She managed her office with integrity and showed a passion for serving the students. My father, Thad Moore, has been a longtime attorney in Brewton. Above all else, he treated his clients fairly and always maintained his integrity.

“I hope to follow their example and run the Escambia County Tax Assessor’s Office with integrity.”

Moore is married to Leigh Lambert Moore, and they have two children.

Tim Pettis

Having spent much of his life in customer service, Tim Pettis said he believes he would be a strong candidate for the position of tax collector in Escambia County.

Pettis has qualified to run as a Republican for the office. Todd White has qualified to run as a Democrat.

Pettis is a Brewton native and graduated from T.R. Miller High School in 1992. He has worked in his family’s restaurant business, Bracken’s Drive-In, since he graduated.

His maternal grandparents, Helen and Myron Bracken, opened the restaurant in 1963, and Pettis and his siblings grew up working there with their parents, LaVenia and LaPrade Pettis.

“I’ve always wanted to be in the political field and enjoyed working with people,” Pettis said. “In the tax collector’s office, I would be working with the public, and that’s what I’ve done for the last 20 years.”

Pettis said his experience managing a business would also translate well to the tax collector’s office, where public money is managed.

“It takes hard work, honesty, determination and perseverance to work in the public eye and serve them well,” he said. “Serving Escambia County as tax collector would be an honor and a privilege, and I would welcome the opportunity to do so.”

Pettis is married to Paula Gerety Pettis, and has two stepdaughters, Sarah Grace and Lauren. He enjoys golfing at Dogwood Hills Municipal Golf Course and is a member of First United Methodist Church of Brewton.