Powell to challenge Allen for Tuscaloosa Senate seat

Powell to challenge Allen for Tuscaloosa Senate seat

By CAROLINE BECK, Alabama Daily News

Tuscaloosa businessman Tripp Powell is challenging incumbent state Sen. Gerald Allen for the Republican nomination for Senate District 21.

Powell told Alabama Daily News he’s running because of his deep commitment to west Alabama and desire to focus on issues surrounding businesses, education and workforce development specifically.

“I have served this community for many years to do my part to make it a great place to live, work, and raise a family,” Powell said. “When I sold my business last year, that commitment to civic service only increased. I have continued to learn what makes west Alabama such a great place, and I am committed to making sure my children not only feel the same, but have greater opportunities to thrive in West Alabama.”

Powell is a native of Tuscaloosa and was president of his family-owned business, Kuykendall & Powell Oil Co. Inc. from 2010 to 2020.

Powell has also served as director of the Petroleum and Convenience Marketers of Alabama from 2015 to 2020, where he worked with Gov. Kay Ivey’s lottery advisory board on the creation of a lottery distribution network and worked with Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth’s office on best practices for COVID reopening protocols, according to Powell’s campaign website.

“Cultivating and protecting business opportunities, particularly among small businesses, facilitating every possible opportunity to improve performance within our schools and support our educators, and maximizing workforce education and development to fit the growing needs of West Alabama employers are all my goals if I am fortunate enough to be elected as Senator for District 21,” Powell told ADN.

There is no campaign finance information filed yet for Powell with the Secretary of State’s office. So far, Allen, a third-term senator and former House member, has a significant fundraising lead with having raised $87,7000 and has spent $24,212 in 2021 alone.

Lisa Ward, a Democrat from Lake View, is also running. Ward has so far raised $13,427  for her campaign and has spent $8,654.

Some of the issues Ward mentions in her campaign website is the need to improve health care access in Alabama, improving educational outcomes and eliminating the state’s grocery tax.