BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Two Democratic candidates are vying for the Alabama House District 55 seat in a runoff election on Tuesday.

Travis Hendrix, a sergeant with the Birmingham Police Department, is one of those candidates. following the resignation of incumbent Fred Plump Jr. and a Sept. 26 special election between seven candidates.

“I told myself at a very young age that all I want to do is do everything in my power to improve the quality of life for the people in the district,” Hendrix said. 

Hendrix grew up in “the Brickyard,” raised by his grandmother alongside his three brothers and little sister.

During his senior year of high school, Hendrix’s grandmother died. 

“One thing I do know – all she wanted me to do was continue to get my education and just help my family,” Hendrix said. 

Hendrix said that after his grandmother’s death, Hendrix dropped out of high school. He said it was his high school principal who came knocking on his door one day to talk to him, encouraging him to “get up” and finish school because that is what his grandmother would have wanted.

“So, I did,” he said. “I went and got my GED. Now, I hold a master’s degree from Oakland City University. Again, it was by the grace of God.”

Since beginning his campaign, Hendrix has been endorsed by Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, which he said has been “so important” to the campaign.

“When you’re talking about two great leaders within a community, especially Mayor Woodfin and Leader Daniels, just having them not only as big brothers but also mentors, it means a lot,” Hendrix said. “Because again, coming where I came from, it’s great to have two people like that in your corner, just to be there for you.”

One of the focal points of Hendrix’s campaign is public safety. When asked what needs to change in District 55 to reduce violence, Hendrix said the key is community policing and preventative measures like the Boys and Girls Club. 

“We have to meet the community where they’re at,” Hendrix said. “We have to go to them and have those intentional conversations about the underlying issues within the community. I think that if we can continue to bridge that gap with the community and the police department, anything is possible.”

Last week, this is what Sylvia Swayne had this to say regarding the election during an interview with CBS 42 Morning News: