By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
‘Tis the season to be jolly….’ This is the holiday season!! Most people are now busy celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ with Christmas or they are celebrating the Restoration of the Temple in Hanukah or at the very least they are experiencing a crass commercialized celebration of unbridled consumerism. This is also a very important season in the Alabama political calendar. Now is the time to qualify if you want to run for any Alabama elected office in 2012. Campaign season is upon us.
Qualifying for the Tuesday, March 13 statewide primary began on December 3 for Alabama democrats and November 14 for Alabama republicans. The deadline for qualifying for the primary is 5:00 p.m. on January the 13. The qualification deadline to run for President on the Alabama primary ballot was December 14. All forms and qualifying fees must be hand delivered to the appropriate party headquarters no later than 5:00 p.m. on that date. Failure to file the appropriate paperwork and fees will result in automatic disqualification. Qualifying fees can vary. For example, to run for Congress as either a republican or as a democrat the qualifying fee alone is $3,480. Running for President on the democratic ballot is only $2,500
The date is a major change from the 2008. Then, the Alabama Presidential Primary was in February and the primary for state and local offices was held in June. The 2011 Alabama legislature has decided to combine the two primaries to save the state an estimated $4 million in costs of holding an extra election. The date was set in March rather than in June so that Alabama would still have some relevance in the presidential nominating process. The last day to register to vote in the primary is March 2. The combined Alabama primary during presidential election years is scheduled by law to be the second week of March from now on.
To run as a Democrat in a state or national race contact the Alabama Democratic Party in Montgomery at 334-262-2221. To run as a Republican in a state or national race contact the Alabama Republican Party in Birmingham at 205-212-5900. For county offices contact your county’s party chairperson. Candidates must also file campaign disclosure reports with the Alabama Secretary of State’s office at regularly scheduled deadlines.
Offices on the 2012 ballot include U.S. House of Representatives, Chief State Supreme Court Justice, State Supreme Court Justice (four places), Court of Civil Appeals Judge (3 places), Court of Criminal Appeals (3 places), and Public Service Commission President. Additionally, there will be circuit court judges, circuit clerks, district court judges, probate judges, county commissioners, sheriffs, and county board of education positions on the same ballot all over Alabama.
If necessary, the primary runoff election will be held on April 24, 2012. The General Election in 2012 will be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.
For more information about the 2012 elections contacts the Alabama Secretary of State Office at http://www.sos.state.al.us/ The Alabama Republican Party at http://algop.org/ or the Alabama Democratic Party at http://aldemocrats.org/