An intimate gathering was organized with Sen. Richard Shelby in Prattville Saturday for folks to talk candidly with the Republican senator, ask him questions and voice their concerns.
The meet and greet was held at the Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce early that morning. Prattville was one of the many stops Shelby had scheduled for the day and the followings weeks.
"I travel to every county every year. Now I'm going to visit a business," Shelby said. "I like to come home and be accountable. You can't just go to Washington and be estranged from people."
The gathering of about 30 people, including Prattville residents, Mayor Bill Gillespie and members of the chamber appreciated his visit and tossed him questions about politics, small business, the presidential election and the Benghazi affair.
Shelby gave his opinions freely.
"When is the Benghazi thing going to be settled?" asked Billy Thompson, a life-long resident of Prattville.
"Probably at the presidential debate that Hilary [Clinton] doesn't want to get into," Shelby said. "... The only way we can knock her down is to win the presidency. Benghazi will be debated, it's not going away. It shouldn't go away. It's an issue with leadership and the presidency is about leadership and respect."
"Are we ever going to get a good president that will love our country?" Edna Menk asked. Menk, 84, is another resident of Prattville and said she is a strong supporter of Shelby.
Shelby, who has served with each president since Jimmy Carter, explained his thoughts on acquiring a good presidential candidate.
"I hope we can get a president, but you have to create critical mass," Shelpy explained. "Money and a broad base can only go so far ... you have to appeal broader."
Jeb Bush appears to be a promising candidate to Shelby.
"Jeb Bush is looking good right now overall in my opinion. He's got a name, he can raise money, he may have the nomination and he more than likely will get a large part of the Hispanic vote, which is very important," Shelby said.
Menk said this was the first time she was able to actually voice her questions directly to Shelby.
"I love Shelby. I have written to him before, but this was the first time to meet him this way," Menk said. "... I think we need a president who loves American like I do and I hope we can make that happen."