Mobile County is sending a force to be reckoned with to Montgomery for the next four years.
On Monday, Nov. 21, Mobile County’s 13-member legislative delegation was sworn in, representing a combined 122 years of legislative experience in the Alabama Legislature.
Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis conducted the ceremony, marking his fifth — and possibly final time — to have the privilege of formally charging the locally elected state officials with their civic duties. Davis will retire at the end of his current term, which will conclude at the end of 2024.
The 13-member delegation is comprised of four state senators and nine state house representatives. The group is overwhelmingly all incumbent officials re-elected during the Nov. 8 general election to serve another term. This includes five Democrats and eight Republicans.
The delegation’s chairman, District 35 state Sen. David Sessions, R-Grand Bay, is bringing 11 years to the table and is representing south Mobile County. Sessions noted Mobile County has made it a tradition to host a bipartisan ceremony and said it represents the unity the delegation has garnered a reputation for.
“We’re a delegation that works together for the good of our area — not Rs and Ds, but for the citizens of our county,” he said.
District 33 state Sen. Vivian Figures, D-Mobile, echoed these statements. Figures alone brings 26 years of legislative experience to the table, easily making her the ranking member in the delegation by seniority. She is the third longest-serving state senator and the longest-serving female senator.
“We know how to put aside the partisan politics to work together to make things good and to pass things together,” she said.
Figures, who is Black, noted there were fears redistricting would lead to Democrats losing the seat and African Americans losing representation. State Senate District 33 picked up new territory in Baldwin County following the 2020 Census to compensate for lagging population growth in Mobile County. The Spanish Fort vote broke hard for Figures’ opposition, Republican nominee Pete Riehm, giving him 80 percent of the vote. However, Figures was still able to win handily and won with 67 percent of the districtwide vote.
“I know there were many citizens in Baldwin County who didn't want me there,” she said. “I quite frankly couldn't understand that because they felt that if I didn't live there I wouldn't know the issues.”
Figures said she will serve the area to the best ability and will be working to prove she is the best candidate to represent them.
State House District 98 Rep. Napoleon Bracy, D-Mobile, is co-chair of the local delegation and has 12 years of experience under his belt. He said the group of local officials has been historically considered the best in the state.
“When we have an issue that faces Mobile County or south Alabama you can definitely count on the Mobile County legislative delegation to stand firm and fight for our community,” Bracy said. “And you can also count on us to not embarrass you in Montgomery and to work together.”
Bracy noted there will be leadership positions held by Mobile County delegates as well. District 101 State House Rep. Chris Pringle, R-Mobile, has been named Speaker Pro Tempore. District 103 State House Rep. Barbara Drummond has been elected as the chair of the House Democratic Caucus.
The local delegation and years in office are comprised of the following:
Alabama State Senate
District 22 — Greg Albritton, R-Atmore, 12 years
District 33 — Sen. Vivian Davis Figures, D-Mobile, 26 years
District 34 — Jack Williams, R-Wilmer, 8 years
District 35 — David Sessions, R-Grand Bay, 11 years
Alabama State House of Representatives
District 97 — Adline Clarke, D-Mobile, 9 years
District 98 — Napoleon Bracy, D-Mobile, 12 years
District 99 — Sam Jones, D-Mobile, 4 years
District 100 — Mark Shirey, D-Mobile, 0 years
District 101 — Chris Pringle, R-Mobile, 16 years
District 102 — Shane Stringer, R-Citronelle, 4 years
District 103 — Barbara Drummond, D-Mobile, 8 years
District 104 — Margie Wilcox, R-Mobile, 8 years
District 105 — Chip Brown, R-Hollinger's Island, 4 years