|Thomas M. "Tom" Whatley|
Alabama State Senator
for District 27 (Lee, Russell, and Tallapoosa counties)
|Assumed office |
November 3, 2010
|Preceded by||T. D. Little|
|Born|| August 7, 1970|
|Alma mater|| Auburn University|
Thomas Goode Jones
Lieutenant colonel in the Alabama Army National Guard
Thomas M. Whatley, known as Tom Whatley (born September 21, 1967), is a lawyer from Auburn, Alabama, who has since 2010 represented District 27 in the Alabama State Senate. A Republican, his district encompasses Lee, Russell, and Tallapoosa counties in the eastern portion of his state;
A native of Opelika in Lee County, Whatley graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts in public administration from Auburn University; four years later, he obtained his Juris Doctor degree through the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law at Faulkner University in the capital city of Montgomery, Alabama. Since 1988, he has been a member of the Alabama Army National Guard. He was sent abroad during the War on Terrorism in 2003 and 2005 to 2007. He received ten medals of commendation for his service. In 2009, he graduated from the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Lee, Virginia. He holds the rank of lieutenant colonel in the National Guard. Prior to his state Senate service, he was a member of the Alabama Public Service Commission; he has also been the chief of staff to the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. He is a member of the Auburn United Methodist Church and the Opelika Kiwanis International.
In 2010, Whatley, with the support of the Tea Party movement, unseated the Democrat Senator T. D. Little, 21,245 votes (55 percent) to 17,379 (45 percent). In 2014, Whatley was challenged for a second nomination by fellow Republican Andy Carter, who ran on a pledge to streamline state government, oppose tax increases of any kind, oppose abortion, and restore integrity to public office. Whatley prevailed, 7,950 votes (53.1 percent) to Carter's 7,010 (46.9 percent). In the general election, Whatley defeated the Democrat Haylee Moss, 19,808 (65.5 percent) to 10,358 (34.3 percent). In 2010, Whatley endorsed Newt Gingrich for the Republican presidential nomination later won by Mitt Romney, who then lost to incumbent Barack H. Obama.
Whatley is the chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Committee and sits on these committees: (1) Banking and Insurance, (2) Confirmations, (3) Finance and Taxation Education, (4) Health and Human Services, (5) Judiciary, (6) Transportation and Energy, and (7) Veterans and Military Affairs.
In 2013, Senator Whatley co-sponsored drug testing for certain recipients of the public welfare and voted to prohibit the enforcement of federal firearms laws by state police. In 2014, he supported legislation which banned smoking in most public places. In 2015, he voted to establish public charter schools in Alabama and to require couples who marry to sign a marriage contract, rather than to obtain a marriage license. He co-sponsored any attempt to expand Medicaid in his state. He voted to increase the cigarette tax, which gained majority approval. In 2016, he voted to prohibit the removal of monuments from public property, a measure that passed the Senate, 22-9. He voted to prohibit abortion providers from locating their facilities near schools. He voted to permit concealed handguns to be carried in vehicles without a permit. He voted with the majority to establishment a state lottery, which passed the Senate 21-12. In 2017, he voted to permit the large Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham to establish its own police force. He voted for the bill which prohibits employers in Alabama from inquiring about past criminal histories of job applicants. He did not vote on the issue of using nitrogen in carrying out death penalty executions.
Whatley is an early supporter of conservative Republican former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court Roy Moore for the United States Senate seat vacated by now Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Moore, however, was defeated by the liberal Democrat Doug Jones in the December 12 special election to fill the remaining five years of Sessions' term.
- Tom Whatley's Biography. Retrieved on October 19, 2017.
- Tom Whatley. Ballotpedia.org. Retrieved on October 19, 2017.
- Andy Carter. Ballotpedia.org. Retrieved on October 19, 2017.
- Tom Whatley's Voting Records. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved on October 19, 2017.
- Mike Casson (August 22, 2017). Roy Moore gets endorsements from 14 Alabama lawmakers. Al.com. Retrieved on October 20, 2017.