FLORENCE — Two congressmen urged Florence High School students on Tuesday to study the issues in this year’s presidential and congressional elections, and vote — no matter which party they support.
U.S. Reps. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, and Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., spoke Tuesday morning to seniors. Brooks represents much of north Alabama, including Florence, and Guthrie is a native of Florence who graduated from the former Bradshaw High School.
Both men described what they believe are the most pressing issues the country faces — with a decidedly Republican slant — but never encouraged the students to vote for Republicans. The Democratic challenger in Brooks’ race, Charlie Holley, was not present.
Guthrie said his family left Florence after the Ford Motor Co. plant in Muscle Shoals closed in the early 1980s in a national recession. He said many of his classmates had planned to work there, earning good wages and benefits without a college education. Those plans changed for those students, making additional education beyond high school essential.
“You must have additional learning after high school,” he told the students. “This is not the end; it’s the beginning.”
Brooks told students they will be deciding the course of the country in a few years.
“Think about what the government does in your lives and how you can make government better,” he said. “This is my challenge to you, as seniors.”