Republican Koven L. Brown was re-elected as Alabama House representative for District 40 in Tuesday’s election, easily beating his Democratic challenger, Pamela Howard.
Brown, former owner of a funeral home chain still bearing his name, has represented the district for eight years. With just one ballot box left to count Tuesday night, he led Howard with 74.5 percent of the vote to her 25.5 percent.
Brown said Tuesday night unemployment rates are the lowest they’ve ever been in the state and business is growing statewide. He said bringing in more business, specifically to Calhoun County, would be his main focus in the new term.
“I like to think people have been pleased with what we’ve done in Montgomery,” he said. “Mobile and Huntsville have been doing great, but I’m working really hard with the Chamber, the EDC, the McClellan Development Authority, to bring more business to Calhoun County.”
Appointed to the position in 2010 after the death of lawmaker Lea Fite, Brown has been one of the Legislature’s top supporters of medical marijuana and opened his 2018 campaign by encouraging lawmakers to consider tax increases.
For Brown’s opponent, Howard, this year’s race was her first. Howard last month said she was focusing on the state’s low-ranked schools, health care gaps and failing infrastructure. She said a Medicaid expansion could have saved rural hospitals, like Jacksonville’s, from closing.
Brown, a former board member of Jacksonville’s hospital, said the lack of expansion did play a part in the hospital’s closure, but said it had been losing money for some time.
Brown said he and other Republicans had opposed expanding Medicaid in the past on account of former Gov. Robert Bentley, who said the federal government in coming years would cut Medicaid and leave the state with large costs. Brown said last month he was no longer convinced of Bentley’s prediction and said he would be open to discussing Medicaid expansion in the future.