Cherokee County Herald - - VIEWPOINTS -

“When I got into it I had peo­ple say­ing ‘Chad you need to be a Repub­li­can,’” said Martin. “I have had the Lib­er­tar­ian party, the Repub­li­cans have tried to pull me in. To me it is re­ally not about Repub­li­can or Demo­crat. It is about some­body get­ting in there and do­ing what is right for this state. If you are Repub­li­can and go into of­fice, you are go­ing to be con­trolled by the party, by all the spe­cial in­ter­ests that puts all that money into these pro­grams. It is the same thing with Democrats and I just think that a man has got to come in that doesn’t have any ties to ei­ther party.”

“Some­body has got to come in and not be mar­ried to any of them,” said Martin. “Just do what is right for the state of Alabama. And that is what I want to do.”

“And the other thing is, to run in pol­i­tics at the state level, ev­ery­thing they do is about just throw­ing money,” said Martin. “Can­di­dates want to beat me, not by com­ing out and meet­ing with the Ro­tary Club of Cen­tre, Ala. They would rather spend about $12,000 on a minute long com­mer­cial. It is a lot eas­ier. Trust me. What I am do­ing is hard. I am tak­ing an old school ap­proach and I am get­ting all over this state. I was over with Sher­iff Shaver in town ear­lier met with him about an hour. He is a nice man.”

On Sec­ond Amend­ment rights, Martin said he is not only in fa­vor of pro­tect­ing the Sec­ond Amend­ment (the right to bear arms) but even takes it a step fur­ther.

“One of the things I want to do is if any of you in this room have to de­fend your prop­erty, your house, fam­ily, your­self, and use jus­ti­fied deadly force to pro­tect your fam­ily,” said Martin. “I want to put some­thing in place that when the in­ves­ti­ga­tory process starts on some­thing like this, I want to have a stream­line ap­proach to peo­ple who are pro­tect­ing their homes and their fam­i­lies, when there is an ob­vi­ous rea­son ob­vi­ous cause that home­own­ers are pro­tect­ing them­selves, I want a stream­line process in place for the in­ves­ti­ga­tory process and the le­gal process. I don’t want a ci­ti­zen be­ing strung out for a year and a half with men­tal anguish over pro­tect­ing them­selves.”

Martin shared, for in­stance, a case in Mi­ami, Fla. where a state trooper in­structed a li­censed pis­tol holder to shoot the trooper’s at­tacker. Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, the trooper was fight­ing with ev­ery­thing he could to keep the at­tacker from hit­ting him in the face and tak­ing his (trooper’s) gun from the hol­ster.

“This guy shot him and it took nine months to clear this guy through the le­gal process,” said Martin. “I thought to my­self, ‘this guy has an of­fi­cer that is about to lose his life say­ing ‘shoot him’ and now we put this guy through this kind of anguish. He doesn’t know if he is go­ing to jail. I said ‘I don’t want this to hap­pen in Alabama.’ That is my Sec­ond Amend­ment stance on that.”

Martin said he has also been asked about the lot­tery in Alabama.

“I am a Chris­tian man that ev­ery sin­gle day I pray at end of day, ask for for­give­ness, pray for peo­ple that are sick, peo­ple that are en­e­mies,” said Martin. “Here is the thing about the lotto and this is the way I try to ex­plain it. I don’t per­son­ally play the lotto. I live close to Ge­or­gia but also have Florida on the other side of me.”

“When you go to our state lines ei­ther in Alabama or Ge­or­gia you will see three or four stores built just to han­dle lot­tery needs of peo­ple com­ing out of Dothan, Alabama, and South­east Alabama and I know it is like that all around the state,” said Martin. “Ba­si­cally, peo­ple in Alabama are play­ing the lot­tery in Alabama and they are

gam­bling. We could put blin­ders on and imag­ine it is not hap­pen­ing, but it is hap­pen­ing to the tunes of mil­lions of dol­lars per day.”

“I al­ways go back to that teacher talk­ing about buy­ing class­room sup­plies,” said Martin. “I un­der­stand the re­li­gious side of the lot­tery. I am a Chris­tian, but I also un­der­stand that we have got to get these teach­ers the things they need and if our money is al­ready be­ing spent on it why not keep that in state?”

“It is just a sim­ple the­ory that I have,” said Martin. “I would like for the ci­ti­zens of the state of Alabama to get the op­por­tu­nity to vote on this.”

“If we do that one of the things that is a lit­tle dif­fer­ent about me, usu­ally lot­ter­ies are set aside for teach­ers and I want a big part of this to go to ed­u­ca­tion, but I want part of this to go to law en­force­ment, and that will also in­clude first re­spon­ders and vol­un­teer fire de­part­ments. Peo­ple like you guys here in Cen­tre, Alabama, know vol­un­teer fire de­part­ments are a huge part of our com­mu­nity in ru­ral ar­eas. Those guys are not get­ting paid to do it. They usu­ally have the old­est equip­ment and most out­dated stuff so they can’t be for­got­ten.”

“I am propos­ing that cities and coun­ties with pop­u­la­tions of less than 50,000, they will get x amount, over $50,000 x amount,” said Martin. “I want this to be a dis­cre­tionary fund for the leader of that de­part­ment. As your sher­iff here in Chero­kee County. I want them to be able to take that money and buy what their de­part­ment re­ally needs whether it be bul­let proof vests, re­pairs to their cars, anti ter­ror­ism soft­ware, There are things like that out there.”

“I want Alabama to be a leader again be­cause tourism is some­thing we are go­ing to be fac­ing for many, many years and just don’t want to imag­ine that it is not go­ing to hap­pen here in Alabama,” said Martin. “I want to be ahead of the game of that.”

Men­tal health is an­other area of con­cern, Martin said.

“One of the things I have learned over the last four weeks is we have some se­ri­ous is­sues here in Alabama with men­tal health,” said Martin. “I was talk­ing to your sher­iff here and he is deal­ing with some is­sues here where there are a cou­ple of peo­ple that are men­tally chal­lenged that are in dan­ger of hurt­ing them­selves and other peo­ple in this com­mu­nity. They are not re­ally a sher­iff’s prob­lem. They are a men­tal health con­cern for the state of Alabama and he can’t even get any­body from the state to call him back. It has be­come a dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion. And that is just not ac­cept­able.”

“Ba­si­cally, I am a busi­ness­man,” said Martin. “When I get in and get a chance to run this state, I am go­ing to run it just like my own busi­ness which is run­ning things lean, tight. First of all I an just go­ing to tell you we haven’t had a gover­nor that has sat at the desk ev­ery day and worked ev­ery day for many years. They have a lit­tle bit too much time on their hands.”

Martin said he wants to be sure all busi­nesses in Alabama, big or small, pay their fair share of taxes.

“If they are go­ing to come to Alabama they are go­ing to have to take a lit­tle bit of pride in be­ing a ten­ant of our state,” said Martin. “They are go­ing to have to pay some money be­cause our core is what is get­ting left out here. This is why you don’t have any money for teach­ers. This is why your sher­iff is lack­ing in funds, hav­ing to use old ve­hi­cles be­cause we are just not get­ting that core money.”

Martin said he needs 35,500 sig­na­tures be­fore next June to get on the bal­lot in Alabama.

“It doesn’t mean you are vot­ing for me,” said Martin. “It just means you are giv­ing a guy like me an op­por­tu­nity to get on the bal­lot as an In­de­pen­dent. Thank you for hav­ing me in Cen­tre, Alabama.”

Chad “Chig” Martin is an Alabama na­tive who has lived here all of his life ex­cept for the five-years he at­tended the Univer­sity of Ten­nessee at Chat­tanooga on a foot­ball schol­ar­ship. He grew up in En­ter­prise, Ala.

Martin, who has an­nounced his in­ten­tions to run as an In­de­pen­dent can­di­date in the 2018 Alabama Gover­nor’s race, re­cently ad­dressed the Cen­tre Ro­tary Club.

In other Ro­tary busi­ness, Cindy Cline an­nounced that Ro­tary is pur­su­ing a $ 3,000 grant for the lo­cal ro­bot­ics teams.

“I think that is a mar­velous project for the county,” said Cline. “It is just un­be­liev­able the stu­dents took this on among them­selves and it has been amaz­ing the ac­com­plish­ments they have made.”

There­asa Hul­gan gave an up­date on the SO-COOL (School’s Out-Camp Of Or­ga­nized Learn­ing) Sum­mer pro­gram.

“We fin­ished SO-COOL on Fri­day,” said Hul­gan. “We had a great year. Nancy Steed and I will get the fig­ures to­gether and we will be do­ing a re­port one day soon. But I did want to give the Ro­tar­i­ans credit for at­tend­ing to help us out with Patriotic Day.”

Can­di­date Martin shared more in­for­ma­tion about him­self.

“Our claim to fame is a mon­u­ment in the mid­dle of town called the Boll Weevil mon­u­ment, the only mon­u­ment in the world that glo­ri­fies a pest,” said Martin. “But the story be­hind that is En­ter­prise was a huge cot­ton farm­ing area so the boll weevil came in and wiped out all the cot­ton farms and they couldn’t con­trol the boll weevil so they tried some­thing new. They tried peanuts. Dothan, Alabama, holds the na­tional peanut fes­ti­val. That is where I live. They give wor­ship to this pest for get­ting them to change over to peanuts. That is the whole story be­hind that.”

Martin is the son of Glenn and Eve­lyn Martin who owned and op­er­ated a trailer park in En­ter­prise and still own it to this day.

“We are right next to Fort Rucker Army Base down there which trains all the avi­a­tion pi­lots for the Army,” said Martin. “So when Fort Rucker got started, they didn’t have enough bar­racks, My mom and dad had built this trailer park in the mid­dle of the Army pi­lots for most of the years. Now a wide range of peo­ple live there. They have had it since about the 1960s, I grad­u­ated from En­ter­prise High School and like I said went to Chat­tanooga. Af­ter I got back from Chat­tanooga, I came to Dothan and moved back down there to be close to my fam­ily.”

“I worked in sales for about eight or 10 years,” said Martin. “I worked in the in­dus­trial sup­ply and equip­ment busi­ness. I learned a lot about deal­ing with the fed­eral gov­ern­ment and de­fense con­trac­tors when I worked with those com­pa­nies and I saw an op­por­tu­nity for small busi­nesses to have some ad­van­tages to do busi­ness with the fed- eral gov­ern­ment so I opened my own busi­ness, Thun­der In­dus­trial, and opened that busi­ness out of the bed­room of my house. I ran it that way for sev­eral years, turned it into al­most a $2 mil­lion busi­ness from my bed­room.”

“Af­ter seven years, I was fi­nally able to get a nice of­fice down there in Dothan,” said Martin. “Now we have cus­tomer ser­vice reps and sales reps but the funny thing is I had more money then when I was work­ing out of my house than I have now, I haven’t fig­ured that one out yet. Maybe I should have stayed at home.”

Martin said he has now been in busi­ness for 13 years.

“We are do­ing pretty well,” said Martin. “Peo­ple some­times ask me ‘how are you do­ing?’ We are about to get our check­ing ac­count back up to zero. But af­ter be­ing in busi­ness for those years, my daugh­ter went off to Troy Univer­sity to Col­lege. When your kids leave you go ‘what do I do now?’”

“When I was in Chat­tanooga, I al­ways had a pas­sion,” said Martin. “I love mu­sic, I would stay in Chat­tanooga dur­ing the sum­mers and I would work. I bought my­self a gui­tar, And I re­ally wanted to play it then, but foot­ball takes all your time.”

But when his daugh­ter was grown and on her own, Martin said he had more time to pur­sue his in­ter­est in mu­sic.

“I was sit­ting around one day and said ‘you know I have had a burn­ing de­sire my whole life to play the gui­tar, play and sing and said I am go­ing to try to do this,”’ said Martin. “I just made a com­mit­ment that I am go­ing to learn to play the gui­tar and I taught my­self to play and within six to eight months I had started writ­ing songs. I went out in Dothan one night and saw a sign that said ‘Open Mike Thurs­day Night’ so I went into this open mike and didn’t tell my fam­ily or any­body I was do­ing it. I played a few songs. Just my­self and an­other guy showed up.”

“As I was get­ting through with that open mike, a gentle­man and his wife walked through the door and it just hap­pened to be a guy that owned one of the big­gest mu­sic venues in south­east Alabama,” said Martin. “And I had only met this guy a cou­ple of times and said ‘how are you do­ing?’ He said he saw me with gui­tar in my hand. This is the first time I have done any­thing like that. He said ‘what is the chance of you play­ing a few songs for me and my wife? I ended up play­ing an hour for him. He said ‘I want you to come and play for me on Tues­day nights’ and I said ‘are you kid­ding?’ He said ‘I will pay you $200 to pay for two hours.’ I was blown away that any­body was of­fer­ing to pay me. I said ‘Sure I will do it.’ One thing led to an­other and in that last six years, I got to play many con­certs (open) for many Grand Ole Opry stars. It has been a great ex­pe­ri­ence, I have played in front of 17,000 peo­ple the most I have ever. That was an amaz­ing part of my life. I still get to do that some but I am very busy right now with cam­paign­ing and busi­ness.”

Martin also noted that he has his own line of hats.

“That is who I am, what I have go­ing on per­son­ally,” said Martin.

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