Rep. Chestnut appointed to House Judiciary Committee

Published 8:22 pm Wednesday, August 9, 2017

District 67 Rep. Prince Chestnut has been appointed to serve on the Alabama House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee.

The appointment was announced last week by Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon along with other committee assignment changes.

“I wasn’t expecting to get onto a committee of that caliber having only actually served in a session for only 20 days or so,” Chestnut said Tuesday. “It was a surprise.”

Chestnut will also continue to serve on the Military and Veterans Affair Committee and the Urban and Rural Development Committee.

McCutcheon announced the changes through a press release, and Chestnut found out about the appointment with a phone call from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Hill.

“He congratulated me, and of course I was taken back because I did not know what he was congratulating me for, and then he said he was reading the speaker’s press release stating who would be assigned to certain committees and said I had been appointed by the speaker to serve on the Judiciary Committee,” Chestnut recalled.

The appointment was something Chestnut said he did not expect to happen since he has only served in the legislature for a short time.

Chestnut was elected to represent Dallas County and part of Perry County in April after two landslide victories -— one in the primary against four other candidates, and one in the general election against independent candidate Tremayne “Toby” Gordon.

Due to the second election in April, Chestnut only spent a short time in the 2017 regular session in the legislature, which started in February and ended in May.

Chestnut said the House Judiciary Committee is responsible for dealing with judicial legislation, criminal justice and the court system on different levels.

“All these things come through that committee, these major laws,” Chestnut said. “I’m just thankful they put that kind of faith and trust in me.”

Chestnut said his background of being a municipal judge for a decade and being an attorney will benefit him and the committee.

“Jim [Hill] said to me he felt that my background and my skillset would be uniquely beneficial for the Judiciary Committee,” Chestnut said. “He said, ‘Hey Prince, it’s a lot of work. I’m not going to lie to you, but that’s what we’re here for.’ And then he told me that he’d be there to help me with anything.”

McCutcheon said changes to committees are made to bring new ideas to the table.