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May 22, 2008   Email to Friend 

Jeff Helms
(334) 613-4212
May 22, 2008

Candidates endorsed by the Alabama Farmers Federation's political action committee are, from left, top row: Sen. Jeff Sessions, State Sen. Parker Griffith, Wayne Parker; bottom row, Beth Kellum, Stephanie Bell and Randy McKinney.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The political action committee of the Alabama Farmers Federation has announced its endorsements of candidates for the June 3 Democratic and Republican primaries. Our philosophy is to support candidates with moral character who will fight for accountability, fairness, security and opportunity.

The committee did not make endorsements in every race. The committee has endorsed other candidates from both parties who do not have opposition in their respective primaries. Those endorsements will be published prior to the Nov. 4 general election.

"Regardless of your party preference, we encourage you to vote June 3. We are a non-partisan organization and have members who have sought our recommendations in both primaries," said Alabama Farmers Federation President Jerry A. Newby. "We hope this guide will be of assistance if you are not familiar with the candidates. No matter who you vote for, we encourage you to exercise your right by voting in the primary June 3."

The endorsed candidates are:

Jeff Sessions, Republican Candidate, U.S. Senate -- Sen. Jeff Sessions was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1997. He was a practicing attorney before being nominated by President Reagan to serve as a U.S. Attorney in Alabama. He was elected Alabama's Attorney General in 1994 and served as the state's chief legal officer until he entered the Senate. A graduate of Huntingdon College, Sessions earned his law degree from the University of Alabama. He is a recipient of the Alabama Farmers Federation's Service to Agriculture Award.

Parker Griffith, Democratic Candidate, Congressional District 5 -- Sen. Parker Griffith was elected to the Alabama Senate in 2006. He is a retired oncologist and businessman. A native of Shreveport, La., he received his medical degree from the Louisiana State University Medical School and served in residency at the University of Texas. He is a Board Certified Radiation Oncologist. Last year, Sen. Griffith sponsored legislation that would exempt farmers from burdensome paperwork associated with Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations.

Wayne Parker, Republican Candidate, Congressional District 5 -- Wayne Parker is a vice president with Insurance Office of America, one of the 10 largest privately held property/casualty insurance agencies in the United States. He holds a bachelor of science in economics from Auburn University and a Masters of International Management from The American Graduate School of International Management. Wayne spent a number of years in the Washington, D.C., area with the International Foundation and the Export/Import Bank.

Beth Kellum, Republican Candidate, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 1 -- Beth Kellum was hired by Attorney General Charles Graddick in 1985 as an assistant attorney general. In 1990, she went into private practice in Montgomery. In 1997, she was named senior staff attorney for the Court of Criminal Appeals. After working with appellate judges on a day-to-day basis, she decided to seek Place 1 on the Court of Criminal Appeals. A native of Tuscaloosa County, she earned her bachelor's and law degrees from the University of Alabama.

Stephanie Bell, Republican Candidate, State Board of Education, District 3 -- Stephanie Bell currently is serving her fourth term on the State Board of Education for District 3. She holds a bachelor's degree in English and journalism from Auburn University. She believes every child in Alabama should have the opportunity to receive the best education possible in a safe environment. She has served as commissioner of the Education Commission of the States and was executive director of the Score 100 statewide committee on reforming education.

Randy McKinney, Republican Candidate, State Board of Education, District 1 -- Randy McKinney was appointed to the Alabama State Board of Education in 2003 by Gov. Bob Riley. He is regional director for Realty Executives and was a former assistant district attorney for the 28th Judicial Circuit of Baldwin County. McKinney earned his undergraduate degree from the University of South Alabama, his master's of religious education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and his law degree from Birmingham School of Law.

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