The following is the first of a series of five profiles on the candidates for the District 11 state House of Representatives seat. Profiles on the remaining three Republican candidates and the one Democratic candidate will appear in the following weeks.
The primary election date is Feb. 12, 2013. In Blount County, District 11 includes the precincts voting at the following locations: Summit Fire Hall, Rock Springs Community Center, Brooksville Fire Hall, Blountsville Town Hall, Cleveland Town Hall, and the portion of the precinct voting at Rosa Town Hall that lies north of county road 57 between Sloan Drive and Cold Springs Road on top of Berry Mountain. Michael E. Graves
Born and raised: Born 1961 in Pontiac, Michigan. Moved to Alabama, eventually enrolling in Vinemont High School, graduating in 1979. Took two years carpentry training at Cullman County Area Vocational Center.
Family details: Married 1980 to Susan, now employed as a certified medical coder at Cullman Regional Medical Center Home Care and Cullman County Hospice. They have three children.
Current job Public works official for the town of South Vinemont since 1996. Duties include building inspection, grant writing, park and recreation director, street maintenance, overseeing administration and construction, economic development, and other matters.
1980 -1983 – retail lumber sales at Buettner Brothers
Lumber Company, Cullman.
1983 -1986 – owned and operated Graves Construction Company.
1986 -1994 – superintendent of construction for
Pearce Construction Company.
1994 -1996 – superintendent of construction for Craft
and Associates Construction Company.
1976 to date – member of Vinemont-Providence
Volunteer Fire Department; chief since 1989.
• Four years as member of the E-911 Board of
• Four years as member of the Cullman County
Community Development Commission.
Qualifications for office (provided by candidate)
•strong leadership skills
•excellent work ethic
•experience and servanthood in municipal government
Candidate’s platform Economic growth, education, and public safety
Stand on issues: Limited home rule for counties: I am in favor of it in certain counties with the stipulation that all tax increases be voted on by the people. Charter schools: They will take funding away from the public school system and we should improve public schools first. Comprehensive tax reform: I am in favor if we can remove the state sales tax on food and have a flat state income tax. Money, lobbying, and influence in politics: I am opposed. I do agree with most of the new ethics laws that have been passed. Issue that most needs to be addressed: Our states’ rights from federal government intrusion.
Candidate’s response to instruction to complete the thought “I am the best candidate for this office because…”
“I am the best candidate for this office because of the experience I have had with municipal government and its operation, years that have been spent in leadership, a small business owner and its challenges, and how to serve people daily. I am willing to stand up against the federal government on issues I am against which are mandated health care, gun control, and abortions unless it is a health issue with the mother, and then it should be between the mother and the physician.”