Knock, knock: House District 40 candidates meet voters where they live

·2 min read

Jun. 18—Alabama House District 40 candidates Julie Borrelli and Chad Robertson say they're working hard in the final days before the Republican party runoff election Tuesday. Knocking on doors and attending events have put their faces and ideas before the voters.

In the primary outcome May 24, Robertson was only slightly ahead of Borrelli, with a vote count of 1,701 to 1,553.

"We've been doing a lot of groundwork," Robertson said. "I don't have a huge budget, never have. I'm running a grassroots campaign and see and meet as many people as I can."

His music hobby has come in handy. He and several friends who are musicians have played at various events where crowds of people gather.

"I never thought, before now, how many people I meet playing at different things, which is good when running for office," said Robertson, who plays guitar and sings as a hobby — a break from his ownership of two fitness centers and a convenience store.

Borrelli's mother has driven her around the House 40 area, which includes parts of Oxford, Pleasant Valley and White Plains north to the Piedmont city limits and all of Cleburne County.

"I've spent this time talking to people in the district, attending events and answering questions," said Borrelli. "Also, I've sent out a few mailers and focused on people knowing who I am and why I am the best person for this position."

She is on leave from her job as the finance director for the city of Anniston, but because she also has a law degree, these days she works part time as an attorney.

Robertson said voters have told him about the need for better education for students and the importance of workforce development.

"These go hand in hand," Robertson said. "Also, voters said infrastructure is a big deal to them, both broadband and roads."

Robertson said he has also talked to voters about the need for the grocery tax to be eliminated.

His biggest concern is that people are too busy to vote because schools are out.

"I am trying to get voters to turn out," he said. "I also have called people and reminded them to vote."

Borrelli said voters have also emphasized the need for improved education, and they told her how much they wanted their Second Amendment rights to be protected.

"When I first started going door to door, I dreaded it," Borrelli said. "I was afraid people would be mean and not come to the door. They have been extremely nice before the primary, and they have been nicer since then. Now, I look forward to knocking on doors and it is a good day when I do. The more people I meet, the more energized I am."