The Yellowhammer Local Leader 20 is a collection of 20 of Alabama’s brightest local leaders. The criteria for making this list was fairly broad. Some members of the LL20 are up-and-coming elected officials who will likely go on to higher office in the future. Other members of the list are grassroots leaders who organize activists on the ground and influence elections and elected officials. Others we are featuring are just doing such a good job in their current role that they deserve some recognition or are notable business leaders who are primed for a run in the future. No members of the legislature or statewide office are included in this list (see our Power & Influence 40 for that).
Over 150 individuals were nominated for the LL20 by a wide range of people including Representatives, Senators, Montgomery insiders, Republican Party leaders, activists, judges, district attorneys, county commissioners, mayors and more.
In the end, we did our best to narrow the list down to a diverse group of 20 local leaders who should be on your radar — even including a few Democrats from their beleaguered ranks. We will be releasing the list 5 at a time throughout the week. Enjoy a look at some of Alabama’s most notable local leaders.
[Editor's note: Yellowhammer does NOT agree politically with all of the members of the LL20. Remember, Henry Mabry made our Power & Influence 40. We obviously don't support much of what he does but can't deny his power and influence. Bottom line: inclusion on this list is not an endorsement.]
6. Britt Sexton: Decatur Businessman
Sexton is a highly successful businessman and philanthropist from a well-known north Alabama family. His company’s interests include financial services, private equity, software and real estate and he’s already in a position of significant influence as a member of the UA Board of Trustees. Sexton is primed to be a member of the state’s next generation of power players. In many ways, he’s already there.
7. Tucker Dorsey: Baldwin County Commissioner
Dorsey manages the largest residential development entity in Southwest Alabama developing more than 4500 lots and managing over $100 million in assets. His private sector experience serves him well as one of the state’s most effective county commissioners. He’s young and ambitious and has impressed folks in the business community as well as grassroots conservatives. It will be interesting to watch the path he takes moving forward. There will certainly be opportunities to move up if he wishes.
8. Wes Allen: Pike County Probate Judge
The former Crimson Tide wide receiver is now the youngest probate judge in the state. He has a solid political pedigree (his dad is Tuscaloosa-area State Senator Gerald Allen) and he has good relationships with leaders around the state. When Yellowhammer put out the request for Local Leader 20 nominees, Allen probably received more nominations than any other elected official. He’s a rising star coming out of Pike County.
9. Sandy Stimpson: Businessman
Stimpson is Chief Financial Officer of Scotch Gulf Lumber and former Chairman of the Business Council of Alabama. He was also recently tapped to serve as the Chairman of the Board for the Alabama Policy Institute. Stimpson established himself as a business leader first but is widely believed to be eyeing a political run. Considering his significant financial resources, he’ll be a serious contender the moment he decides to jump into the political arena.
10. Matt Fridy: Attorney, Republican Party Steering Committee Member
Fridy is one of the most respected Republican Party leaders in the state. People have tried in the past to persuade him to run for circuit clerk, court of civil appeals, state house and just about everything in between. He’s been very patient and kept working diligently to strengthen the Republican Party. He will step up when the time is right and will garner a lot of support.