Leaders worth following

House Majority Leader Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter was the guest speaker at the Geraldine High School Veterans Day program Thursday.

Well, we made it through the election here at the Times-Journal, and now I want to share a story with you all. The story I’m about to tell you is the reason why I have so much trust and faith in the elected officials who represent us in Montgomery.

In March, I got to witness Governor Kay Ivey sign Emily’s Bill, which is now a law that holds pet owners accountable for their pet’s actions.

The bill was named after Emily Frazier Colvin, a young lady who I went to school with, and, sadly, a young lady who was killed in a dog attack just past the Jackson/DeKalb County border in December.

House Majority Leader Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter and Senator Steve Livingston worked on the bill for months for Emily’s family, and because of their efforts, the law essentially says that no family will have to endure what her family did in way of irresponsible pet owners.

Seeing those two men and our governor with Emily’s family that day was awe-inspiring.

In that moment, I was proud of Alabama and I was proud to know that our leaders truly want to do the right thing for the people they represent.

That same feeling of gratitude I had the day of the bill signing came full circle Tuesday when I went to vote.

At my polling place in Ider, I was handed my ballot and then sat down beside a man who was already filling his out. I believe that man was meant to be there, in that exact place and at that exact time, because that random man reminded me of the importance of my vote. As soon as I sat down next to him, he looked at me and said, “I recognize you from the bill signing; what’s your name.” I said, “Yes, sir, that was me. My name is Kayla.” He looked at me and said, “I’m Emily’s dad,” There was an immediately pang in my chest.

After a short conversation, we quietly cast our votes and went our separate ways.

Now, both Steve and Nathaniel had no opposition in Tuesday’s General Election, but that didn’t matter. I looked at their names on the ballot and, after just looking Emily’s dad in the eyes, and remembering that day back in March, I knew that both Steve and Nathaniel were right where they belong– in Montgomery doing all they can do to sincerely represent the people of Alabama.

Now, I don’t know how Emily’s father voted, but I know he had a lot of trust in some names in particular on that ballot, and that’s what’s important.

Further reassurance of our leaders came Thursday morning at the Geraldine High School Veterans Day program. Nathaniel was the guest speaker, and he spoke with immense integrity to the veterans who were there.

Again, this was just another experience where I got to witness our state leaders humble themselves and genuinely recognize and show appreciation to the people they represent.

Steve and Nathaniel are just two of our many leaders, but I know that we have many more wonderful people who are working like those two men do to lead our state.

Now that the election is over, and we know who our state and even local leaders are, we need to pray for them every day and trust that they always have the people’s best interest at heart.

When I reached voting age, my father’s advice was to “vote for the person, not the party,” and that’s what I have always done. And with that, I believe that the people leading this beautiful state are undoubtedly the right people.

— Kayla Beaty is the managing editor of the Times-Journal. She can be reached at kbeaty@times-journal.com.

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