An Enterprise businessman who labels himself a conservative Democrat stated he’ll work to decriminalize marijuana and put extra money into Alabama lecture rooms with a state lottery if voters choose him as their subsequent governor.
Chad “Chig” Martin, 53, has certified to run for the Democratic nomination within the Could 24 main. Martin and Yolanda Flowers of Birmingham are the 2 candidates to qualify with the Democratic Social gathering thus far. Qualifying ends January 28.
Martin was raised within the Wiregrass, the place he operates Thunder Industrial, a restore and upkeep elements firm, Honeysuckle Hemp, which sells CBD merchandise, and a cellular house park his dad and mom began greater than 50 years in the past. Martin performed school soccer and has recorded nation music songs.
Martin stated a dialog with a good friend of his daughter stirred him to run for governor in 2018. The younger girl was educating in public college and advised Martin about paying for classroom provides out of her personal pocket.
“If our academics aren’t having the essential classroom provides that they want, how are they imagined to do their jobs?” Martin stated. “And these are those that we entrust our kids’s lives with lengthy durations all year long.”
Martin started a write-in campaign on Fb for that 2018 election and believes he received an excellent begin creating a base of supporters. However as this yr’s election approached, he determined he couldn’t win with out selecting a celebration.
“I’m an impartial at coronary heart and all the time can be,” Martin stated. “And the Democratic Social gathering regarded like a possibility that simply suited me nicely. The Republican Social gathering was a celebration that is filled with millionaires sometimes with numerous cash. And once I noticed this chance with the Democratic Social gathering, plenty of values I’ve aligned with them. And it simply regarded like it might be my greatest alternative to get right into a head-to-head with Kay Ivey right here within the state of Alabama. And that’s what the purpose was.”
Martin stated one in every of his first priorities as governor can be to persuade the Legislature to approve a constitutional modification to permit voters to approve a lottery to fund training. Alabama lawmakers introduce lottery payments yearly however none has handed since 1999.
“There’s a number of issues I wish to do proper out of the gate,” Martin stated. “And the primary one is as soon as and for all get these legislators shifting and get the lotto invoice handed. We’ve talked about it for years and it all the time dies.
“I wish to be a governor that works with all events. I wish to work with each side of the aisles. And I wish to get the lotto invoice handed. And I’ll work exhausting and keep on high of that till it does get handed. And clearly, that may give our cash-strapped academic system some a lot wanted aid.”
Final yr, Ivey threw her assist behind a proposal for voters to permit a lottery, casinos, and statewide regulation of playing, but it surely didn’t go the Legislature.
Martin stated he believes marijuana is a safer drug than alcohol and want to see it legalized and taxed to spice up Alabama’s financial system and tax revenues. He’s skeptical of whether or not Alabama’s medical marijuana business, authorized by the Legislature final yr, can be open for companies like his Honeysuckle Hemp firm to compete pretty when dispensary licenses are issued. A medical hashish fee continues to be working to arrange that program. Merchandise will not be anticipated to be accessible till subsequent yr.
“I wish to open up the free commerce of hashish within the state of Alabama with out laws, not simply permitting sure teams or firms to take part on this,” Martin stated.
He stated hashish could possibly be taxed at a excessive sufficient fee to spice up funding for training, psychological well being care, and infrastructure.
Martin stated he believes decriminalizing marijuana would assist the courtroom system and cut back crowding in jails and prisons.
“Alcohol is far more harmful than hashish,” Martin stated. “Folks should purchase all they need freely and get as drunk as they need now. And so they’re far more harmful than individuals on the market utilizing hashish.”
Martin’s official identify is Charles Glenn Martin. Martin stated his sister began calling him Chad when he was a child. Chig, brief for chigger, was a nickname given by teammates when Martin began enjoying sports activities.
He performed soccer for the Enterprise Excessive College Wildcats and went to the College of Tennessee at Chattanooga on a soccer scholarship.
“I used to be a good finish at Enterprise Excessive College however once I received up there to Chattanooga I favored that buffet line just a little an excessive amount of and I received moved to offensive deal with,” Martin stated.
Martin acquired a level in legal justice and returned to Alabama. He labored in gross sales till beginning Thunder Industrial. His different enterprise, Honeysuckle Hemp, is three years previous.
Martin stated he by no means performed the guitar or sang till he was 41 however he has since toured with a band, “Chad Chig Martin and The Alabama Outlaws,” and has launched music movies, together with “Dime a Dozen,” and “Decrease Alabama,” which will be discovered on YouTube.
He additionally has designed and bought fedoras and cowboy hats on-line.
Martin stated he would use his entrepreneurial abilities to recruit employers for the state.
“I don’t wish to simply begin a crew of business recruiters,” Martin stated. “However I wish to be the lead on the crew.”
He stated he’ll make it a precedence to battle air pollution and shield Alabama’s pure assets.
“My fundamental mission, and that is what my complete marketing campaign boils all the way down to, I wish to enhance the standard of life for Alabamians and their households,” Martin stated. “Each choice I make, that may all the time be in my thoughts.”
Apart from Ivey, who is seeking her second full term, different Republicans who’ve certified or introduced they’re working for governor embrace Lindy Blanchard, a businesswoman and former ambassador to Slovenia within the Trump administration, Lew Burdette, president of King’s Residence, a company that helps abused girls and youngsters, toll bridge developer Tim James, pastor Dean Odle, Springville Mayor Dave Thomas, and former Morgan County Commissioner Stacey Lee George.