By Chris McCarthy/Publisher
State representative Blaine Galliher soon will have a new role in Montgomery.
On July 26, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley appointed Galliher as Director of Legislative Affairs.
A Republican from rainbow City, Galliher has been the Alabama House District 30 representative since 1994, will begin his new position on Aug. 1.
“It’s been an honor to serve District 30 for the past 19 years, and I consider it to be a very humbling experience,” he said. “It’s kind of like what Lou Gehrig said about being the luckiest man alive in that I feel very fortunate. I look forward to the new challenges that lay before me.”
Among the accomplishments under his tenure, Galliher said that he is most proud of his work with local schools.
“We built several new schools with some of the most modern facilities and technologies. We also have the new jail, which has proven to be an economic engine for Etowah County, and the new courthouse. We also helped to provide recreational facilities for our youth and seniors.”
Galliher said that his main responsibilities will be to promote the governor’s legislative agenda and act as liaison between the governor’s office and the state legislature. Galliher has been the Chairman of the House Rules Committee for the past two years.
“I have the utmost respect for the governor,” said Galliher. “We’ve served together for eight years in the House, and we’re good friends. I think he’s done a great job as governor, and I’m excited about going to work for him and being on his team. I look forward to helping him continue to help Alabama grow.”
Galliher added that he would continue to work closely with the state legislature. A special election will be held to fill Galliher’s former District 30 seat, which includes eastern Etowah and northern St. Clair counties.
“Blaine and I have worked together for many years, dating back to my time in the Alabama Legislature,” said Bentley. “He is a proven leader with a strong record of public service, and I look forward to Blaine joining my Cabinet and continuing our mission of improving state government for the people of Alabama. Working alongside the Alabama Legislature, we will continue to pass legislation that creates jobs, right-sizes state government and improves the lives of Alabamians.”
Locally, Galliher is a member of the Board of Directors for the Clark Smeltzer Adult Education Center. He also is a member of the Gadsden Etowah Chamber of Commerce, the Rainbow City Lions Club and the Etowah County Cattlemen’s Association. He is also a member of the board of the Special Programming Achievement Network (SPAN Program) of Etowah County.
Galliher’s professional experience includes 21 years of management at Gulf States Steel in Gadsden, followed by 10 years in the education community working for the Alabama Technology Network. Galliher served ATN as director of business and industry training for Etowah and Calhoun Counties. He served in the U.S. Army from 1968 through 1971.
Legislative leadership congratulated Galliher on his new role.
“Blaine is an exceptional lawmaker and a trusted friend,” said House Speaker Mike Hubbard. “I don’t know of anyone more qualified to help guide Governor Bentley’s legislative efforts. As much as I hate to lose him from my leadership team in the House, I’m confident this move will only enhance the positive working relationship between the executive and legislative branches.”
“Representative Galliher is a model statesman and has always been a pleasure to work with,” said Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh.
“This move further solidifies the already positive working relationship between Governor Bentley’s administration and the legislature, and we look forward to working with Representative Galliher in his new role.”
“It’s certainly an honor for Blaine to be chosen for this position,” said House Minority Leader Craig Ford. “I wish him the very best, and Etowah County should benefit through his new position.”
Bentley will call a special election to fill the District 30 seat in the House of Representatives.
“Serving in the legislature has been a wonderful experience that has enriched my life,” Galliher added. “I am grateful to Speaker Hubbard for appointing me Rules Committee Chairman and making me a part of the Republican leadership. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and the Senate in this new capacity as we endeavor to run a conservative, responsible government.”