The Fayette businessman and former minor-league baseball player announced last week he’s running for governor of Alabama this year, becoming the first Democrat to enter the race. While his only prior experience running for office was an unsuccessful bid for Fayette mayor in 2012, Bass said his real-life experience makes him better suited than a career candidate to serve the people.
“So many of these guys are there because their granddaddies were there,” said Bass, 34, who has been running his baseball equipment businesses, Bass Bats and Bass Gloves, since 2007. “They understand the value of a dollar, but they don’t know how to make one.”
Bass said he hopes to emphasize education and recruiting business to the state as his top priorities on the campaign trail, but doesn’t want to focus on making promises he can’t keep, either.
“I don’t want to be that guy who says something and doesn’t do it,” Bass said. “Sometimes you’re going to make a mistake, but you need to be able to admit you made a mistake, and then find a way to fix the problem.”
Bass said he plans to campaign and, if elected, serve as governor with the same philosophy used in his time playing baseball — working on strategies as a team, and consulting the right people to get the job done.
“It’s like in baseball; it’s about adjustments,” said Bass, who was drafted by the Chicago Cubs out of high school and spent time with Chicago White Sox, all at the minor-league level. “There’s always room for improvement.”
While members of both political parties in the state likely scratched their heads when Bass announced his intentions to run for governor last week, the candidate said name recognition is overrated when it comes to running a successful campaign.
“How many people know their representatives by name, the guy who is their senator or even U.S. representative?” Bass said. “There are a lot of people in office and people don’t know who they are.”
Despite the lack of name recognition, Bass said he believes he has a great chance of winning next year’s election.
“I wouldn’t be running if I didn’t think realistically I had a shot,” Bass said. “It’s going to be about my work ethic, and how much I put into this.”
Staff writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @BAnderson_Star.