Hannah Ford, who served as communications coordinator for Birmingham Evangelist Scott Dawson’s 2018 gubernatorial campaign, is remembered as a woman of faith who brought her beliefs to government activism and played an important role in Alabama’s politics.
Ford died in a three car accident in Montgomery on Sunday. She was 26 and recently engaged. “She was a mile from her home after looking at a wedding venue,” said Dawson.
Ford had worked on several political campaigns and was known in Montgomery for advocating conservative issues, most recently against a fuel tax hike.
“She may have been small, but she was a giant when she walked into a room,” said Dawson. “She knew how to deal with senators, members of the House, and judicial candidates.”
Ford had announced her engagement to Winchester Hagans, son of Evangelist Rick Hagans, last month, and they had looked at wedding venues shortly before her death.
“Hannah’s birthday was last week and she didn’t get engaged until December 21,” said Dawson.
Ford’s death reverberated through conservative Alabama political circles.
“Hannah was one of the most Christ-like, loving, and caring people you could know,” said Bill Armistead, former chairman of the Alabama Republican Party. “And she was a brilliant political strategist at such a young age, helping so many conservatives win elections and then advising them on political issues. Hannah leaves a great void in the hearts of many, many people. Please remember the Ford family in your prayers. “
Armistead said Ford had just written him how excited she was about her engagement.
“I just got a text message from Hannah less than 24 hours before that accident stating that I was engaged,” Armistead said on a social media post. “Here is part of your text for me. “God has sent a man who loves Jesus deeply, loved me tenderly and is simply the best there has ever been !!! I can’t believe that I can marry him !!! ‘”
Dawson said Ford was 22 years old when he hired her for his campaign.
“She’s been on a couple of campaigns and done really well,” said Dawson.
When he offered her a job for the campaign, she didn’t immediately accept him after serving as Roy Moore’s assistant campaign manager for the Senate campaign in 2017. “She said, ‘I have to pray through. ‘She just got out of the Roy Moore campaign,’ said Dawson. “She was exhausted.”
But when she took the job on Dawson’s campaign, her intensity was always higher.
“She was able to work so effectively, meet deadlines, and get the job done so effectively with so little sleep,” said Dawson. “She was brilliant and yet humble. She was quoting the scriptures, but it was read so well that she knew the latest headlines we had to discuss. She gave me hope that the leaders are still out there. “
Before Dawson debated in Republican Governor’s Elementary School, Ford challenged him on these issues.
“She was our person in preparing the debates for the two debates we had,” said Dawson.
After Dawson lost to Governor Kay Ivey in Republican Elementary School, Ford helped Andrew Sorrell in his successful campaign for a seat in the Alabama House of Representatives.
“She was someone who could win the room,” said Dawson. “She could be fiery, never unladylike. She wouldn’t miss an opportunity to make sure her point was made clear. She was quick on her feet. “
Ford was the daughter of Rev. Tom Ford III, a physical therapist and pastor of Grace Church in Montgomery, and Leigh Hubbard Ford, and had seven siblings.
“Because of her upbringing, she was disciplined as a follower of Christ and she understood that politics is not the answer, but you need to make sure you have good legislation,” Dawson said. “She withdrew from lobbying last year.”
However, their influence is still widespread.
Dawson said his daughter Hope will graduate from Samford University and join US Representative Gary Palmer’s congressional staff this spring. She learned something about politics from Ford.
“Hannah taught Hope, ‘If you have to be tough with someone the next day, bring them cookies.'”
“It’s such a Hannah thing,” said Hope Dawson. “She was one of the hardest working people I have ever met. She was brilliant. She did it all through a biblical worldview. She was so graceful and so nice. She was like a sister. She really taught me so much. She taught me that life is bigger than politics. “