King pushes experience

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 4, 2002

As a local political candidate, the Rev. Glenn King’s resume is impressive.

Born and raised in Selma. One of the first black athletes to integrate Albert G. Parrish High School. Former Youth Leader at Green Street Baptist Church. Active in the Boy Scouts.

Pastor of two churches, Grace Baptist Temple in Selma and Morningstar Baptist Church in the Lowndes County community of Sinclair.

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Public relations director of the Missionary Baptist Church’s Baptist Training Union for the state of Alabama.

Owner of radio station WJUS AM 1310.

A master’s degree in theology.

Studies in continuing education from the University of Alabama in contracts and grants.

Experience as a United Auto Workers representative with Ford Motor Company.

With such an extensive list of activities, one might reasonably ask why he feels compelled to take on more.

“To help the people of Dallas County,” King answers without hesitation. “We’ve been shortchanged long enough. We need a new environment.”

King says that if he is elected his first priority will be to reopen the Vaughn Regional Medical Center that was forced to close last year after being acquired by Province Healthcare of Tennessee.

King also promises to work for lower prescription drug costs for Medicare and Medicaid patients.

“It makes me disgusted to see elderly people in the drug store having to ask how many pills they can get for $15 because that’s all they have,” he says. “Prescription drugs should be affordable for everybody.”

King cites Alabama’s U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby and former Detroit Mayor Coleman Young as his political role models. He once served as a political consultant with Coleman’s campaign.

“From Mayor Young I learned how to run a campaign from the grass roots to the top,” King says, “He taught me that if you run a good campaign and then once you are elected make sure you’re fair, you’ll have no trouble being re-elected.”

That’s the sort of information that should come in handy, because King has ambitious political plans.

“The House of Representatives is just a stop,” he explains. “I plan to go further. I may run for governor or I may even run for president of the United States.”

King says his own grassroots campaign has left him confident that he understands what people today are looking for in a political leader. Countless handshakes and countless encounters with prospective voters in the past weeks and months have shaped that viewpoint.

“People want a better life,” he says. “They’re tired of lies and half truths and promises. It’s time to put up or shut up. The Rev. Glenn King is the man who’s going to put it up for everybody.”

King says he sees no contradiction in a minister of the gospel seeking political office. Nor does he fear being rebuked for having quit preaching and gone to meddling should he be elected.

“Family folks have told me I’ve been guilty of meddling from time to time,” he confides. “But when you preach about sin, that’s just something you’re going to encounter. You can’t let that bother you. My first main interest is in being a servant to the Lord. The second is in serving the people of Dallas County.”

King points out that he has been serving the people of Dallas County long before he ever thought of seeking political office.

“I’m no stranger to this community,” he asserts. “The whites and the blacks know I care for the people of this community. Really care. As a minister, I’ve carried money to people. I’ve carried groceries to people. I’ve helped get them jobs. I’ve ministered to their mamas, many of them, in the nursing homes.

“And win or lose I’ll keep on serving the people of this community.”