“Thanks for letting us come visit you,” Rogers said as he entered the Riverside Town Hall.
Rogers’ East Alabama’s Third Congressional District lines were changed to include all of St. Clair County.
His stop in Riverside Thursday was his second of the day in St. Clair County. Earlier in the day, he met with the St. Clair County Commission at the county courthouse in Pell City.
“We’re proud you’re taking over this area,” Riverside Councilman Kenny Womack told Rogers as he shook the hand of the 52-year-old member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Rogers said St. Clair County was taken out of the Third Congressional District more than seven years ago to keep him from getting elected.
“It was unfair to St. Clair County,” said Rogers, a senior Republican member of the House Armed Services Committee and chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security.
He said the U.S. Justice Department must still approve the redistricting, but he does not anticipate any problems, and expects approval within the next few weeks.
“Now the whole county is in the Third,” said the Calhoun County native.
He said while St. Clair County was added to the Third Congressional District, West and South Montgomery and East Coosa County were eliminated from the District. St. Clair County is one of 13 counties Rogers represents.
“I’m going to spend a lot of time here,” Rogers told those who gathered in the Riverside Storm Shelter to meet their new congressman.
“We’re real, real excited today in Riverside,” said Mayor Rusty Jessup. “We feel like we will be very well served by Mike Rogers.”
Rogers said he has three offices, one in Anniston, Opelika and Montgomery. He is uncertain if he will open another office in St. Clair County.
“It will depend on the demand,” he said. “I could possibly open one in Pell City.”
However, Rogers said he wants to spend taxpayers’ money wisely, and it would be hard to justify another office here since St. Clair County is so close to Anniston.
In addition, he said, his office will have “mobile office hour,” where his staff will come to St. Clair County and meet with constituents once or twice each month for a couple of hours. That way, residents do not have to drive to Anniston to meet with Rogers’ staff.
Rogers said he wants to be a long-term congressman, and he will be on the ballot six months from now.
“I want to be your Congressman,” Roger said, adding that he wants to build a relationship with the people of St. Clair County.
“We’re going to make a concerted effort to get to know you,” Rogers said.
The congressman looked at home and relaxed in St. Clair County, greeting and talking to Riverside residents and officials.
“I feel like Moses led to the Promised Land, and I’m in it now,” Rogers said.
David Atchison at email@example.com.