Bessemer resident Brad Tompkins has decided to apply for the District 15 seat of Alabama House vacated by Allen Farley.
The district covers parts of Bessemer, western Hoover, much of Helena, and communities such as McCalla and Tannehill. He faces City Councilor Helena Leigh Hulsey in the April 22 Republican primary.
Tompkins, a former home builder who owns and operates a factory automation business in Birmingham and recently opened the Fab Fruit business at Stadium Trace Village in Hoover, said his background as a business owner and a member of the Bessemer Industrial Development Board helped him understand how government can help or hinder business.
âI want to put my private sector experience to work for the people of Jefferson and Shelby counties, particularly in the areas of workforce development and recruiting new jobs in our area,â Tompkins said. .
There is a strong need for skilled employees with technical skills, from the residential construction industry to auto factories and their suppliers, he said.
Education is really the engine of economic development, he said. âIf we have the talent, the companies will come. If we have the infrastructure, the businesses will come.
During his tenure on the Bessemer Industrial Development Board, the city was successful in attracting new companies such as Amazon, Carvana, FedEx and a new Lowe’s warehouse, he said. These are just the most recognizable names, but the city also owns a good deal of commercial property and has brought in and helped grow businesses with tax breaks and mentoring, he said.
Tompkins said other people who saw his work in Bessemer encouraged him to come forward for the 15 house district. He and his wife, Kaye, prayed about it and he decided to do so.
âIf the right people don’t come together to help their community, where are we? Said Tompkins.
He has business experience and useful political and trade relations and the time to devote to his job, he said.
âWe don’t need someone to go to Montgomery and vote. We need someone who will work for this district, âhe said.
He’s not an activist stuck on a particular social issue, he said.
But he is a conservative who believes in personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual freedom, traditional American values ââand strong national defense, he said.
âCapitalism and private enterprise create the greatest opportunity and the highest standard of living for all,â Tompkins said. “Free markets produce more economic growth, more jobs and a higher standard of living than these systems burdened by excessive government regulation.”
Tompkins has said he is fed up with the nonsense coming out of Washington, DC, and believes President Biden’s tenures demonstrate a lack of understanding of how the economy works.
“There is a nationally advanced liberal agenda, and I’m going to make sure we have conservatives representing us who understand how the economy works and know how to push back against Biden’s unconstitutional excesses,” he said. -he declares.
As an engineer, he will approach problems with an analytical mind, but he also sees the humanity in people, he said. Even if he doesn’t agree with someone, he wants to listen to them to understand their point of view, he said.
Tompkins was born in Florida and moved to Indiana with his adoptive parents when he was 10 years old. He received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University and moved south after graduating to protect himself from the cold.
He moved to Alabama in 1991 and worked for TLT Babcock in Alabaster, then for Intram Automotive in Irondale, and ATI and Siemens in Hoover, and left Siemens when the company wanted him to move to Michigan.
He had started a homebuilding business, Lenox Homes, in parallel in 2003 and turned to that business instead of moving north, building mostly in Hoover and Helena, until the housing industry plunges in the late 2000s.
Tompkins had started a consulting company called Automated Solutions in 1999 and returned to that business in 2008.
He has moved around a lot, briefly living in Bessemer, St. Clair County and McCalla and Hoover for 10 years. He moved to Bessemer, just outside Ross Bridge, in 2015.
He and his wife have two daughters: Maggie, 18, and Katie, 15, both homeschooled. They attend Hunter Street Baptist Church, and he and his wife are active with the nonprofit Radiation Oncology Accelerated Research which raises funds for UAB’s radiation oncology department.