East Alabama gears up for 3rd Congressional District primary election

ALABAMA (WTVM) – Alabama's primary elections will take place on June 5th and one race has drawn the attention of a large portion of East Alabama.

The 3rd Congressional District includes Randolph, Tallapoosa, Chambers, Lee, Macon and Russell Counties.

The seat is currently held by longtime Republican incumbent Mike Rodgers.

Both Mallory Hagan and Adia McClellan-Winfrey are vying for the Democratic nomination to take on Rep. Rodgers in the general election.

Both candidates on the Democratic ticket are newcomers to politics.

HAGAN

Mallory Hagan's family has lived in Alabama's 3rd District for six generations.

The Opelika native is widely known for her 2013 win in the Miss America Pageant but has most recently worked as a local news anchor.

"This is very much like being this American except without the pressure of having to look like Miss America," said Hagan. "It's wonderful! I have fallen for the state of Alabama all over again."

Hagan has hosted numerous listening sessions across the 3rd District and says she understands the issues facing the area.

"Whether you're in Iowa or Alabama your concerns are the same. People want to healthcare for their family, quality education for the kids, they want a job to provide for their family and put a roof over their head and have security when they are ready to retire and in the hierarchy of needs to belong to," she said.

Hagan believes her time as Miss America will be a benefit if elected because of the experience she had on Capitol Hill in 2013.

During her time as Miss America Hagan worked to restore the budget for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

"Politics is about relationships and being able to use your network… Over the course of the four visits I had in 2013 I saw that work come to fruition," she said.

WINFREY

Dr. Adia McClellan-Winfrey is a native of Louisville, Kentucky but her family has been in the district for nearly 160 years. Winfrey, who now calls Talladega home, is hoping to get a chance to go head to head against Mike Rodgers in the general election.

Dr. Winfrey says that her background sets her apart in the election.

"My educational background and experience with mental health and education sets me apart," explained Winfrey. "Also being a mother of four and understanding the things that go into being a parent in this day and age definitely are skills that set me apart from my opponent."

After speaking with constituents in the 3rd District, Winfrey has developed a five-point campaign platform.

A – Agriculture

E – Education

I –Innovation

O – Opportunity

U – Unity

"What my main focus and is to be a Voice for the unheard," said Winfrey. "Taking these different areas of my platform and bringing opportunity and resources to the congressional third district and also helping the community and the state with our image... I'll put it like that."

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