A crowd of well over 500 gathered at the Cherokee Arena on Thursday night to show their appreciation to longtime State Representative and Cherokee County Native Richard Lindsey who is as he said “stepping aside” after faithfully serving the constituents of Alabama’s 39th District for over 35 years.
Among those that spoke during the ceremony included; Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, longtime State Senator Gerald Dial, Gadsden State Community College President Dr. Martha Lavender, State Representative Marcel Black, JSU Field Schools Director Pete Conroy, former State Representative William “Noopie” Cosby, former State Representative Ken Guin, Dr. Myron Wilson and Dean Buttram Jr., Attorney at Law for the Buttram, Hawkins & Hopper Law Firm in Centre.
Elected when he was only 27 years old, Rep. Lindsey is currently seventh in seniority in the Alabama Legislature, and has represented Cherokee County longer than any other representative in state history.
During his tenure in office, Rep. Lindsey served for ten years as chairman of the Education Finance and Appropriations Committee, which was responsible for writing the education budget. He served for three terms as chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, and also served on several regional and national legislative committees. Rep. Lindsey said he is most proud of what he helped accomplish for jobs, agriculture, education and economic development over his years in office. Rep. Lindsey also played a key role in bringing Gadsden State Community College’s Cherokee Center to Cherokee County, calling it the “crown jewel of his career.”
Rep. Lindsey has also worked to improve state infrastructure by expanding rural water systems, installing new communication systems, updating volunteer fire departments and rescue squads, expanding HWY 9 to four lanes in Heflin, working to four lane HWY 411 from Leesburg to Gadsden, building a new airport for Cherokee County and Piedmont, and streamlining county government by combining offices and creating a one stop tag office to serve the public promptly and efficiently. Rep. Lindsey said he will miss the camaraderie of serving the Legislature and the friendships he has built during his time in office, but that he is looking forward to spending more time with his family, farm and agribusiness.