One for the record books

June 22, 2017

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

The much-anticipated 2018 election contests have been pushed back by about three months due to the unanticipated race for Jeff Sessions’ senate seat. This ongoing contest will occupy the news through late September.

It was previously thought that June 6 would be the opening bell since fundraising for next year’s June 5 Primary could begin at that time. However, the bell will probably commence to chime in full force by Labor Day.
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Governor’s race shaped by unforeseen forces

June 14, 2017

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

Those of us who follow Alabama politics had circled June 6, 2017 as the beginning of the 2018 governor’s race. However, we did not foresee Donald Trump’s election as President in November and the subsequent appointment of our U.S. Senator, Jeff Sessions, as his Attorney General, thus, opening a U. S. Senate seat and causing the need for an unanticipated special election for the open senate seat this year. Therefore, the race for Sessions’ Senate seat will dominate the political news for at least the next three months.
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Remembering the great

June 7, 2017

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
By Steve Flowers

Since we are in the midst of an election for a US Senator, let me share the story of one of the most prestigious congressional families in Alabama history. The Bankheads of Jasper would likely be the most prominent political family in Alabama political lore. More than likely there has never been a father serve as one of Americas most powerful US Senators while their son, William Bankhead, served as Speaker of the US House of Representatives.
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Sprint to August 15

May 31, 2017

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

As the race for our open U.S. Senate seat begins, let’s look at the lay of the land.

First-of-all it will be a sprint. The race is upon us with the primaries on August 15 and the run-off six weeks later on September 26. The Republican primary victor will be coronated on December 12. We, in the Heart of Dixie, are a one party state when it comes to major statewide offices. Winning the GOP primary is tantamount to election. Therefore, our new senator will probably be elected on September 26.
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Handicapping the field

May 24, 2017

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
By Steve Flowers

Well folks, the field is set for the sprint to fill the open US Senate seat of Jeff Sessions.

The primary is less than three months away on August 15. There will probably be a run-off on September 26 and the winner of that GOP run-off will be our Junior Senator from Alabama. In the Heart of Dixie, winning the Republican nomination is tantamount to election. The December 12 General Election will be a coronation for the winner of the September 26 Republican primary.
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The race is on

May 18, 2017

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

The race for our open US Senate seat will be the marquee political event for the remainder of this year. It will be a great show. However, we have a sensational and pivotal 2018 Governor’s race evolving simultaneously. This much-anticipated gubernatorial derby will be affected by the preliminary Senate horse race.

The political landscape has changed dramatically with the decisive move by new Governor Kay Ivey to call for the election of Jeff Sessions’ successor to the Senate this year.
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Working hard for the people

May 10, 2017

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

Most times political columns are critical or derogatory of politicians. However, today I would like to share some positive observations from the first few months of this year.

Sometimes I enjoy striding down the halls of our old capitol reminiscing about my younger days when I would walk those halls as a page boy and then during my 30’s and 40’s as a member of the legislature. In bygone days you would never see a constitutional officer in their offices working on Fridays, not even the governor. A few months ago I walked down the halls at about 3:30 on a Friday afternoon and popped into Secretary of State John Merrill’s office and to my amazement Secretary Merrill was in his office working.
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The race is on for Senate

April 26, 2017

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

The decisive move by newly minted Governor Kay Ivey, to declare a Special Election for Jeff Sessions’ Senate Seat this year rather than next year changes the entire complexion of who will sit in that coveted seat. It also redefines the landscape of an ever changing and pivotal Alabama political scene.

This next year will be an adventure as we elect a Senator and concurrently the 2018 Governor’s Race will begin its evolution. We have already seen the downfall of a sitting governor this year and by September 26, we will see the election of a new junior U.S. Senator. There is an assumption that only a Republican can win statewide office in Alabama and winning the GOP primary is tantamount to election.
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A great movie, but would anyone believe it?

April 19, 2017

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

We in the Deep South have a unique history of political theatrics. The only northern states that rival our colorfulness are New Jersey and Illinois. In those two states you are expected to be corrupt, especially Chicago.

Our most colorful southern state has always been Louisiana. The parishes and bayous of the Pelican State gave us Huey Long and other characters. No other states can hold a candle to Louisiana’s brazen corruption. They not only expect their politicians to steal and cavort, they frown on them if they do not. The environment of Louisiana politics is bred towards corruption and debauchery. They not only gave us the glamour of the King Fish, Huey Long, they are proud of their infamous reputation.
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The Democrat Derby

March 29, 2017

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE
by Steve Flowers

Last week we handicapped some of the potential horses in the upcoming 2018 Governor’s Race. We mentioned Judge Roy Moore, PSC President Twinkle Cavanaugh, Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan, Secretary of State John Merrill, State Treasurer Young Boozer, State Senator Del Marsh and Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. Some others that may be considering pursuing the brass ring of Alabama politics are Lt. Governor Kay Ivey, Supreme Court Justice Jim Main, Jefferson County Commission President David Carrington, Trump’s Trumpeter in the State Perry Hooper, Jr., Huntsville State Representative Jim Patterson and ADECA Director and former Prattville Mayor Jim Byard. You can also add former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville to the mix of possible gubernatorial candidates.
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