Clay Carmichael officially announces candidacy for Ward 3

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Clay Carmichael with his wife, Amy.
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Selma native Clay Carmichael officially announced his candidacy for Selma City Council Ward 3 on Monday.

He unofficially announced plans in March to run for the seat currently held by Miah Jackson, who is running for mayor.

In a statement, Carmichael said he feels running for Ward 3 is the logical next step after years of working to make a difference in Selma in the private and nonprofit sectors, as well as working with the city and county.

“I’ve been involved in Selma at just about every level and in the process made some great contacts, as well as gaining insight to the issues we face as a city,” he said.

Carmichael’s love for Ward 3 began when he was a child, riding bikes, walking to Byrd School, playing ball at the YMCA and helping his neighbors, his campaign said in a statement. In the Carmichael home, hard work was the lesson. “This was instilled in me at a young age,” he said. “We would clean up around the neighborhood and help our neighbors with everything from picking up trash to mowing grass and raking leaves.”

Never one to sit on the sidelines, Carmichael and others formed Blackbelt Benefit Group, a nonprofit that reaches out to local organizations and groups to make positive impacts on Selma, assisting farmers, artists, musicians, schools, and more. They are currently responsible for local events, like the Alabama River Chili Cook-off, Rockin’ Rib-Off, Art Jam and First Saturday Selma.

Carmichael and BBG recently partnered with Cougar Oil’s Rex Jones and Arts Revive to host the Cemetery Run to benefit public safety. That event raised almost $40,000 and purchased rifle-proof vests for the Selma Police Department and turnout suits for the Fire Department.

“The community really came together and supported this run, which showed support for our first responders. This equipment ensures that our firefighters and police officers make it home safely to their families,” Carmichael said.

Besides public safety and tourism, Carmichael feels there are other priorities for city leaders. “Infrastructure is as much a foundation for our city as our people are. Both are essential in restoring the Queen City’s crown.” He believes Selma can weather the current political storm and see a brighter day, “but we’ve got to get our finances in order by employing sound strategies, taking care of our employees, and above all, holding each other accountable in a transparent environment.” He continued, “We need to work together to support local businesses and stabilize our neighborhoods. Only we can fix these issues. It’s going to require more than just the election of me or any other individuals to public office. It’s going to take the entire community working together.”