By David Palmer
The Cullman Times
As the final minutes of the business day ticked away at the Alabama Secretary of State’s office today, Randall Shedd’s mind began to ponder the reality of becoming the new representative for House District 11.
By 5 p.m., Shedd was informed that he was clear to be seated in the Alabama House of Representatives Thursday at 10 a.m. The special election to replace Jeremy Oden came to a close when the Alabama Democratic Party chose not to insert a replacement candidate into the District 11 race. Kelly Evans, who had qualified for the Democrats, withdrew nearly a month ago.
“I’m truly honored to serve,” Shedd, a Republican, said in a telephone interview today. “When I was 12 years old I dreamed of doing this, and now it’s coming true. This is a position I don’t take lightly. I know a lot is expected in this role and I’m excited to be in a position to help people.”
A state canvassing board will meet at 9 a.m. Thursday morning to certify Shedd as the new representative. Oden, a 12-year officeholder and Republican, vacated the seat in December 2012 after accepting an appointment from Gov. Robert Bentley to serve on the Alabama Public Service Commission.
The seat will be up for grabs again in 2014 and will include a wider range of territory because of redistricting. The district currently serves a large portion of Cullman County and parts of Morgan and Blount counties.
Evans pulled out of the race because she now spends most of her time at a home that is just outside the district in Cullman County. She also has a residence in Blount County, where she lived most of her life, but recently moved.
Shedd won the Republican primary in a runoff against retired educator Danny Alldredge.
Shedd will take office with about a month remaining in the legislative session. A variety of issues are on the table as the session heads into the last lap. Lawmakers have tackled abortion, gun laws, and still have issues to settle in the budgets. He will also have time to become involved in a proposal to convert the county superintendent of education’s office into an appointed position. The county school board and superintendent have passed a resolution supporting the concept and asked local lawmakers to consider the proposal. Rep. Ed Henry, R-Hartselle, held up the proposal, noting that he would be more comfortable addressing the issue after the District 11 House seat was filled.
“I’ll get right to work at 10 a.m. I’m looking forward to working with our local delegation. I look at this office as a chance to help people across our district and the state. I’ve been blessed all my life and look at this, too, as an opportunity to give back,” Shedd said.
While Shedd will be taking office Thursday, he has two events planned Saturday in relation to his new role.
At 8 a.m. Saturday, he will take part in a prayer breakfast at Welcome Baptist Church. He will take the oath of office at 2 p.m. Saturday at Baileyton Senior Center. Both events are open to the public.
* David Palmer may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 256-734-2131, ext. 213.