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Shay Shelnutt

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Shay Shelnutt
Shay Shelnutt.png
Alabama State Senate, District 17
In office
November 5, 2014 - Present
Term ends
November 5, 2018
Years in position 1
Base salary$10/day
Per diem$4,308/month
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
First electedNovember 4, 2014
Next generalNovember 6, 2018
Term limitsN/A
High schoolPinson Valley High School
Bachelor'sUniversity of Montevallo
Master'sUniversity of Montevallo
Office website
Campaign website
Shay Shelnutt is a Republican member of the Alabama State Senate representing District 17. He was first elected to the chamber in 2014.


Shelnutt earned a degree in business finance and a Master's of Education in Math from the University of Montevallo. His professional experience includes teaching and being a coach for ten years at Clay-Chalkville High School and Oneonta High School. His taught at Jefferson State Community College and has been involved in real estate and business development since 2006.[1]

Committee assignments

2015 legislative session

At the beginning of the 2015 legislative session, Shelnutt served on the following committees:

Alabama Committee Assignments, 2015
Banking and Insurance
Education and Youth Affairs
Governmental Affairs
Jefferson County Legislation


Campaign themes


Shelnutt's website highlighted the following campaign themes:[2]

  • Taxes
Excerpt: "We do not need higher taxes. Let me be crystal clear on this issue - I am opposed to higher taxes. A few months back I was reading something about how much the Republican leadership had cut from the state budgets over the last few years, nearly $1 Billion. I was impressed. I was thrilled and appreciative and then I got angry – why were we spending that money in the first place. I’ve known people who went bankrupt and in most of those circumstances is was (sic) always the spending that closed the doors. My first question when it comes to spending is: 'Do we need it?' My second question is: 'when the recession comes again, can we cut it?'"
  • Job
Excerpt: "As a realtor I have had the opportunity to meet with families throughout the district who are selling their homes. Some are moving just around the corner, upgrading or downsizing. Some people move to the district because of the community values or to get away from the big areas. But over the last few years there have been a lot of people who couldn’t afford their home anymore. I’ve also had to help those who were upside down, or whose retirement was cut because their home just wasn’t worth what it was before. Second only to holding the line on our values, there is nothing more important than creating jobs in our district."
  • Abortion
Excerpt: "Every life is precious, born and unborn. I have two beautiful daughters and cannot imagine that I could have made a choice for them not to be here. Just that thought goes against every Christian principle in my body. God teaches us to hate the sin and love the sinner. We as people are faced with challenging decisions each and every day but we have laws that protect us from murder and therefore we must work to ensure that we have protection against this accepted form of murder. Alabama has one of the strongest anti-abortion policies. Recent actions by the state legislature have shut down nearly all abortion clinics. I will not back down. I will always stand on the side of life and I will kneel to pray with anyone who feels they must bear this choice."
  • 2nd Amendment
Excerpt: "So many people refer to this as just guns, but the rights we are guaranteed under the second amendment isn’t just about guns. Ultimately it is about our freedom and the stand against the erosion, or even more or our rights being taken away. I am a member of the NRA and Gun Owners of America. I believe that as citizens of the United States we are guaranteed the right to bear arms and ammunition without fear of registration, reprisal or censure by the government. I do not believe that guns kill, I believe that people kill. Criminals are not seeking to comply with the law and registration. The police are not finding lawfully registered fire arms at murder scenes, but rather ones with serial numbers scratched off, reported stolen or never registered. I am often reminded that drugs are illegal and yet we have a multi-billion dollar drug economy. Restricting the legal access to weapons will only harm the law abiding citizens and empower the criminals and the government. I support the 2nd amendment and I will always oppose restrictions on our constitutional rights."
  • Education
Excerpt: "As a former local teacher, I trust our teachers, principals and state education officials to lead us and recent history shows that when we focus on long term education solutions, Alabama can do a great job on Alabama's education. Let Alabama decide what's best for Alabama."



See also: Alabama State Senate elections, 2014

Elections for the office of Alabama State Senate took place in 2014. A primary election took place on June 3, 2014; a runoff election took place where necessary on July 15, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was February 7, 2014. Shay Shelnutt, Jim Murphree, Gayle Gear, Brett King, Adam Ritch, Joe Cochran, and Jim Roberts faced off in the Republican primary. Because no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote-getters - Shelnutt and King - met in a runoff election, which Shelnutt won.[3] Shelnutt was unchallenged in the general election.[4][5][6][7]

Alabama State Senate, District 17 Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngShay Shelnutt 34.3% 7,480
Green check mark transparent.pngBrett King 30.1% 6,574
Jim Murphree 9.6% 2,084
Gayle Gear 8.1% 1,759
Jim Roberts 7.8% 1,698
Joe Cochran 6.7% 1,467
Adam Ritch 3.4% 745
Total Votes 21,807


Shelnutt and his wife, Paige Harwell, have two daughters.[1]


See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in Arizona

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Political offices
Preceded by
Scott Beason (R)
Alabama State Senate District 17
Succeeded by