Given all the commotion stirred up by the governor’s recent appointment of Matt Brown to fill an unexpired term on the State Board of Education, it is hardly a surprise that names of possible challengers to Brown in the March 1, 2016 primary are popping up.
One of these is Bob Higgins of Foley, who was interviewed by the governor’s staff when the search to fill this seat was underway. Given his involvement in education affairs in southwest Alabama, Higgins would appear to be a formidable opponent for Brown.
Higgins is a one-time General Motors executive who has been in Baldwin County since 2001. He has an impressive list of credentials. He is a board member and past chair of the Southwest Alabama Workforce Development Council. This group is extremely active in four (Mobile, Baldwin, Escambia, Conecuh) of the seven counties in this school board district. He also chaired the Career Tech Advisory Council for the state department of education.
In addition, he serves on the board of the Community Foundation of South Alabama, which also serves Mobile, Baldwin, Escambia and Conecuh counties. He is former Senior Vice President of the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance and today operates Higgins & Associates. He is also a board member of the Baldwin County Education Coalition.
I recently spoke to Higgins. While he has yet to make up his mind to be a candidate, he is getting encouragement to do so and is definitely interested.
“I certainly think I have the track record and the experience needed in this very important position,” he told me. “And probably even more importantly, I have the time to travel the district and see first-hand what our needs and challenges are. There are 10 school systems and 90,000 students in this district. They deserve to be represented in Montgomery by someone who will give this job the attention it should have.”