HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The Republican race for Alabama House District 7 features incumbent Proncey Robertson, who was elected in 2018, and challenger Ernie Yarbrough.

News 19 asked the candidates for Alabama House District 7 about themselves and their views on issues important to Alabamians.

We’ve included News 19’s questions and their complete answers below:

Question #1: Tell us a bit about your background. How has it shaped you to serve in the office you’re seeking?

PRONCEY ROBERTSON: I have spent my career and life serving and protecting the public and now I am bringing that leadership and dedication to our state.  I have served in law enforcement for 27 years and retired as a Police Lieutenant at the Decatur Police Department, where his primary role and title for the past several years was Homeland Security Coordinator and Public Information Officer for the Department. 

In that position I supervised the School Resource Officer Program (SRO’s) for the Decatur City School System and as the School Safety Liaison Officer.  My dedication and public service begin after high school graduation when I joined the United States Air in 1986.  I then served in the U.S. Air Force from 1986-1990 and in the Persian Gulf War.  Most of my service time was spent at Little Rock, AFB, in Arkansas as a Life Support Specialists.  After receiving an Honorable Discharge in 1990 I applied and joined the law enforcement community in Russellville, AR in January 1992. 

In 1994 I was hired by the Decatur Police Department in Decatur, Alabama and has remained in Law Enforcement for over 27 years. I am a graduate of the Arkansas & Alabama State Police Academies and was promoted to Sargent in 2003 and again to Lieutenant in 2011.  I was deputized as a Special Deputy-US Marshal and served as a Federal Task Force Officer on the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task force (JTTF) for 7 years (2006-2013). As Lt. I worked extensively with local and state school officials and industries in the development of “Active Shooter” response procedures and plans.  I am a certified instructor in a number of subjects including multiple instructor certifications for “Active Shooter” response courses for local law enforcement officers, S.W.A.T. Tactics, and Emergency Management, (i.e., A.L.E.R.R.T, S.O.L.O., A.L.I.C.E.). 

I also supervised the Decatur Police Departments Robbery/Homicide Unit, Crime Scene Investigations (CSI), the Street Crimes Unit (ACU) and the Honor Guard Unit.  He has been a member of the Decatur Police Departments Special Response Unit (SWAT) since 1995 and served as the Decatur SWAT team Commander for 11 of his 21 years on the team.  It was an honor to be one of the most decorated officers within the Decatur Police Department with (16) sixteen department medals which includes the Department’s Highest Award “The Medal of Valor”.  I was the 2003 American Legion “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year” for the State of Alabama.  

This dedication and public service is exactly what prepared me to serve as in the State Legislature.  Tough decisions must be made and I am doing just that and will continue to serve with honor and integrity just as I did in my law enforcement service.

ERNIE YARBROUGH: Growing up in rural Alabama, I learned from an early age to love farming, hard work and making a little bit go a long way. As a young man, my father put me to work in his small business and from that time I’ve always loved entrepreneurial endeavours. My engineering degree solidified my love of technical knowledge and my 10 years at Nucor Steel further solidified implementing practical solutions based on sound theory.

From the earliest age my parents instilled in me a strong patriotism and love of my country. My rural Alabama upbringing and professional experience and life long commitment to freedom and hard work have shaped me and prepared me to serve my District as State House Representative.

Question #2: What do you see as key challenges facing your district and the state and what do you propose to do about them?

ROBERTSON: Now more than ever our district needs someone that knows how to make the tough decisions, who will fight for our fair share and protect our conservative values and I am doing just that. I am proud of the accomplishments we have made. I will continue to make sure we receive our fair share of funding for our roads, schools, and bring jobs and industries to our area.  I will continue to work with our Governor and elected official making sure we have a seat at the table.

YARBROUGH: Some of the key challenges for our district and our state include developing and implementing long-term sound economic principles, unifying our communities around our freedoms and values, and engaging our citizens and professionals to work together to improve our social institutions while strengthening our rights as Alabama citizens.

If elected, I would strive to create and support economic solutions that keep more money in the pockets of Alabama citizens, decrease burdensome regulations on businesses, and create level playing fields for ideas, initiatives and hard work to succeed. I would engage local communities to come together around community needs to work together to serve and improve our communities through local initiatives that also unify and strengthen our local relationships.

I would engage groups of Alabama citizens (parents, teachers, employers, employees etc.) in forums on issues that matter to them so that we can maximize local involvement and local input for good legislation.

Question #3: What are voters telling you they are concerned about? Can you help?

ROBERTSON: We are all seeing and feeling the repercussions from the Biden administration’s federal over reach on our checkbooks and morals and values.  Now more than ever we need leadership that will stand up for what is right and who has a proven record of doing what is right and that is me, I am proud of my voice being heard, even when it is not what is popular.  I am doing what is right!

YARBROUGH: Preserving our rights and freedoms. Implementing economic and freedom platforms that look down the road 1-2 generations and not just the next 1-2 election cycles. Finding ways to better engage the next generation so they will deeply love and value our freedoms, communities and heritage. Yes, I can hep with these!

I am committed to developing solutions and ideas built firmly on our rights and freedoms. I am committed to engaging our district and developing legislation and initiatives in joint efforts with our communities. I intend to engage our families and young people with opportunities to serve and get involved in many different and meaningful areas of our communities.

Question #4: What is an accomplishment you’re especially proud of?

ROBERTSON: In the last four years, we have passed the most conservative legislation that will protect the unborn and our 2nd Amendment rights. I co-sponsored legislation to ban abortion, constitutional carry which allows for people to open carry, ended a tax burden on businesses. I sponsored and passed Lisa’s Law which prevents convicted criminals from making profits on their crime story.

YARBROUGH: Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with Hope For Justice to help bring awareness and resources to fight against the evil of human trafficking. 

Question #5: Leaving out elected officials – past and present – tell us about someone you admire and why.

ROBERTSON: I was a Republican in Lawrence County when no one else was. You could fit all the Republicans in a phone booth in fact.  That is an example of how I will voice my opinion even when it is not the most popular, and do what is right.  I was the Chairman of the Lawrence County Republican Executive Committee and it was under my leadership that Lawrence County flipped from being Democrat elected official to Republican elected officials.  I am proud of that.

I am a Trump Republican. President Donald Trump did more for us in his administration than we have seen in years.  From securing the border, keeping our economy going in the right direction, and keeping us out of war! Federal politics hit us home and we are seeing what a horrible job Biden is doing and how it is affecting us every day.

YARBROUGH: I admire my dad. From a child, he has been an amazing and consistent model of hard work, love, entrepreneurial endeavors and always pressing forward with new and fresh ideas and ways to implement sound principles of character and economics in a host of different companies and business endeavors. His passion and commitment to patriotism, principle and loving service to those who need help have also shaped me in profound ways.

His love of fun, basketball and reading have also made me the man I am today!

Question #6: What distinguishes you from your opponents?

ROBERTSON: I have been active in our Republican party for over twenty years.  I did not just decide to run for office and get involved with our state and local party.  Republican values and beliefs are not just of convenience when someone decides they want to run for office.  Being Republican, active in our party, fighting for what is right and making the tough decisions is who I am.  Anyone that knows me and IF you don’t know me that’s me.  I don’t’ shy away from any question, I always have an open-door policy and will talk to any constituents any hour of the day or night That’s who I am. 

I bring my dedication and service to serve the people of District 7 just like I have done for 27 years in Law Endorsement.  I am a man of my word, not of opportunity. 

YARBROUGH: I am committed to developing my relationships – both individually and financially – with the people of district 7. I will not vote to raise taxes in opposition to what my district wants, and I will not sponsor or support legislation that is fundamentally opposed to the rights and freedoms of the people of district 7.

I am committed to developing solutions that are built upon principle and long term viability and will walk those out in such a way as to gradually turn the needle toward freedom-rooted prosperity.