Wallace, Bishop make pitches for commission seatPublished 6:03am Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Editor’s Note: Getting to know your candidate will be a weekly feature informing you about our local candidates leading to the November general election. This week’s featured candidates are seeking the local office of county commissioner in District 1.
William Bishop edged out the competition to win the Democratic nod for county commission District 1 seat in the spring and will now face Republican candidate Chris Wallace in the general election on November 6.
William Bishop is no stranger to his community even though this is his first venture into politics. He was born and raised in Franklin County and lived in the area his entire life except for the period of time when he was in the military.
“I love the people of Franklin County and how they work together to make the county a better place to live,” he said.
He said he decided to run for the office of county commissioner because he wants to serve his friends and neighbors and work to make Franklin County a better place.
“My main goal is to bring industry to Franklin County in order to generate jobs, which will generate more revenue,” Bishop said. “We need this revenue so we can fix the roads in the county.”
Bishop is a retired computer technician for Amoco/BP in Decatur and he said his experience running his own business as a contractor and homebuilder would prove beneficial if he was elected.
“I have experience working with people and keeping my business afloat,” he said. “This kind of experience is needed as a county commissioner because we’re in charge setting the budgets and making sure we keep the county organized and that we use what money we have to keep the county going.”
Bishop also said his status as a retiree would ensure that he would always be available to attend to the county’s needs.
“Since I’m retired, I’ll be available 24/7 if someone needs my service,” he said. “I can travel county-wide to get problems fixed and I can work with the road crews or whoever I need to work with to make improvements where they need to be made.”
Bishop is the son of the late Walter and Helen Bishop. He is married to Barbara Turner Bishop. They have one son, William E. Bishop, Jr., who is the technology director at the Haleyville Center of Technology and is married to Leah Hardin Bishop who is a special education teacher at Lynn Elementary School. Bishop has two granddaughters, Aleah, 12, and Allie, 7. He also has three sisters, Mattie Bishop Tucker, Mary Bishop Mills and Doris Bishop.
He has spent most of his time for the past year as the coordinator of Mennonite Disaster Relief teams who have rebuilt houses in Phil Campbell and East Franklin and he has served as co-chairman of the Franklin County Alabama Tornado Disaster Relief Fund Committee that has distributed over $120,000 to tornado victims in Franklin County. He has served as a contractor and homebuilder for projects like the East Franklin Volunteer Fire Department and the East Franklin Memorial for tornado victims. Because of his service in the rebuilding efforts, Bishop was given the county’s Humanitarian Award for 2011 and was recognized by a resolution presented in the Alabama Senate.
He is a graduate of Phil Campbell High School and Attended Northwest Junior College. He is a U.S. veteran, chairman of the Seekers of the Past, secretary and treasurer of the Union Community Saddle Club and the former secretary and treasurer of the East Franklin Volunteer Fire Department.
“I just want to do the right thing and always be honest and if I’m elected, that’s what the people of Franklin County will always get from me,” Bishop said. “I will appreciate their vote and support on November 6.”
Chris Wallace grew up in Virginia but has felt like Franklin County was his home ever since he first started spending his summers visiting his grandparents in Spruce Pine as a boy.
He moved to Franklin County after he graduated high school and has lived in the area for 26 years.
“I want to make Franklin County a better place to live and work,” he said. “This office puts you in the position to help people in Franklin County by being able to work on improving our roads and infrastructure, and that is what I want to do.”
Wallace is also a small business owner who operates a small construction company.
“I have been self-employed for more than 20 years and with my business experience, I also know how to work within a budget and still get things accomplished with quality materials and workmanship,” Wallace said.
“I have always enjoyed meeting new people and working with them and I know I will be able to work with the other commissioners who are elected to achieve positive progress for the people of Franklin County.”
Wallace said he is also attune to the needs of Franklin County’s citizens and will see that those needs are met.
“I travel the roads of Franklin County on a daily basis and I know the shape they are in and the needs we have for improvement,” he said.
Wallace has been married to his wife, Cheri Slate Wallace, for 20 years, and they have two children, Slate, 13, and Julianna, 10. He is a member of North Highlands Church of Christ, the Cotton Flat Cruisers car club and the Belgreen Bass Masters. He is also a cattle farmer and a member of the Alabama Cattleman’s Association.
“If elected, I will work to help manage the tax payers’ money and get the most out of it.”