A look in the lens of Senator Richard Shelby
Senator Richard Shelby spent his entire career serving the State of Alabama. He served in the Senate from 1987 to 2023, making him Alabama’s longest running Senator. Shelby was first elected to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat in 1986 and switched to the Republican party in 1994. In a country so polarized, many wonder if there is a way the two parties can meet in the middle.
“There’s a divergence of opinion on things, on economics, social policies, aid to military. You know the world they see it in different ways. We’ve got to come together as much as we can. We will never completely come together, but we come together as much as we can in a bipartisan way if we put America first,” said Shelby.
With the 2024 presidential election right around the corner, is there a candidate who can unite the country?
“The President of the United States is mature. You got Donald Trump. He’s close to the same age. They’re going to have to play this out. Then you’ve got a lot of contenders like the Governor of Florida seems like a powerful contender DaSantis. But there’s some Democrats out there too,” said Shelby.
With great power comes great responsibility and at the moment our nation is hurting from mass killings due to gun violence. Shelby said it’s more than a gun issue.
“People misuse guns. They misuse cars. They misuse medicine. It’s bad. I think it’s tied to privacy and mental health. We’ve got to recognize that and not turn our backs on it,” said Shelby.
There comes a time when every king has to hand over his crown to the next successor, and it helps when that person is your former chief of staff.
“I think Katie Britt will make a good U.S. Senator. She has to do that herself. She’s just getting started. She’s off to a good start on some powerful committees. That’s a good omen in the U.S. Senate. So I think you will hear a lot from her in the future and of course I was a little biased. I hired her when she got out of the University of Alabama,” said Shelby.
Senator Britt is the first woman from Alabama to be elected to the U.S. Senate. She’s the youngest Republican woman ever elected to the Senate, making her accomplishments a part of Shelby’s legacy as well.
“What I’ve tried to do is push opportunity for everybody, not results, but opportunity. If you have opportunity for education, opportunity for a job, and everything… if you work at it… most things will work out,” said Shelby.
After 44 years of serving his country as a Congressman, Shelby looks forward to returning home and enjoying retirement with his wife Annette.
“I’ve enjoyed being with my wife, she’s retired now. But there comes a time in our lives, as with everything, it’s a season for all of us. I thought it was time for me to come home. I’m glad I came home knowing who I was,” said Shelby.
Senator Shelby is widely known for his conservative stance, his strong interest in the U.S. military, and his tireless efforts to bring jobs and economic growth to the state of Alabama.
Senator Shelby served a total of 44 years in office. Eight years in the House and 36 years in the U.S. Senate.