This is an opinion piece.

Our news editor, Daniel Taylor, asked me Wednesday if I watched any parts of Tuesday night’s presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

I was quick to answer no, and from what I’ve read about it, I didn’t miss anything. During the debate, I was reading Paw Patrol mini-books at bedtime to Maggie Jo, my 22-month-old daughter. That was much more enjoyable.

Hopefully, Trump and Biden won’t subject the nation to more debates. I doubt Tuesday night’s fiasco swayed the minds of many undecided voters. The best response to the debate I read came from Boaz head football coach Jeremy Sullivan, who tweeted, “350 million people and this is the best two we can come up with?”

The election is one month from today. Chances are you know if you’re going to vote for Trump or Biden, or if you’re going to write in Nick Saban, Gus Malzahn, Tracy Honea, David Dyar or someone you like better.

I voted in my first presidential election in 1984. I haven’t missed one since, and I don’t plan to in November. If you’re registered, please vote in person or by absentee ballot. If you aren’t registered, please do so and then vote. Don’t waste the constitutional right you’ve been given to participate and make your voice heard in our democracy.

I’m seeing more Democratic yard signs on Sand Mountain this year than in recent election cycles. It reminds me of fans who begin wearing their colors after their team starts winning. The Biden-Kamala Harris ticket won’t beat the Trump-Mike Pence ticket in Alabama, but that won’t be true in many other states.

Every election season, I’m reminded of Psalm 118:8, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.”

I’m voting for Jesus today and every day, because I know He can’t be defeated.

Rest in peace, Abby

The Allen family woke up Wednesday morning and discovered our 14-year-old Dachshund, Abby, had died.

Abby’s death wasn’t unexpected, because she’d been diagnosed with several health issues, but it didn’t take away the sadness, especially for my beautiful bride, Malarie, who received her as a birthday gift in 2006.

“My lively, fun-loving, sock-stealing, food-begging, animal-chasing puppy took her last breath last night,” Malarie wrote on her Facebook page.

“Abby was the best birthday gift I’ve ever received. She grew with me, moved 4 times with me, and gained a family with me during her 14 years of life. Even as she aged, her spunk faded, and her health began to fail, she kept her good, loving nature. RIP sweet girl.”        

Shannon J. Allen is the editor and publisher for The Reporter. He can be reached at

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