By Brandon Moseley and Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
Less than four years ago, Alabama Democrats held the positions of: Lieutenant Governor, Commissioner of Alabama Agriculture and Industries, the President of the Public Service Commission, Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, three of the State’s seven Congressional seats, and majorities in both Houses of the State legislature and powerful Democrats were optimistic about their chances in the 2010 Governor’s race. Then 2010 happened and Democrats are still trying to pick up the pieces.
Republicans understand that the party of President Obama remains extremely popular with the State’s Black voters so a statewide Democratic candidacy starts out with ~38% of the vote, making a Democratic comeback viable if the candidate can articulate a message that resonates with significant numbers of White voters. The State’s Republican incumbents are preparing for the possibility that they will face a viable Democratic opponent next November or a Republican opponent in June by campaigning and fund raising even if there is no announced opponent.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) has not been taking re-election lightly. The doctor-turned-governor has raised $2.133,986.08 by the end of October. His only announced opponent (that we are aware of), Stacy Lee George (R) reported just $47.81.
Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey (R) faces both a Republican Primary opponent and an announced Democratic challenger next November. Ivey reports having $265,010.20 to this point. Her Republican challenger, Sumiton pastor and businessman Stan Cooke reports having $8,431.13.
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange (R) has no opponent that we know of, yet the popular AG reports having $954,369.16 to do battle with his 2014 challengers.
The Alabama Secretary of State’s office has no returning incumbent. Three Republicans are pursing the position. Rep. John Merrill (R) has the early fund raising lead with $179,371.85 in cash on hand followed by Reese McKinney (R) with $95,650.38. Jim Perdue (R) reported having $9,003.28.
Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries John McMillan (R) has $101,215.45 but no opponent.
Alabama state Treasurer Young Boozer has $86.779.15 in cash on hand and is waiting for an opponent.
Two spots on the Public Service Commission (PSC) are on the ballot in 2014. The post of President of the PSC does not come up until 2016.
In PSC place 1, incumbent Jeremy Oden (R) has no opponent but reports $10,400.20.
In the PSC Place 2 race, incumbent Terry Dunn has not filed a report. His Republican opponents Jonathan O Barbee and Chris “Chip” Beeker report $450 and $39,748.72 respectively. Alabama Minority GOP Chairman Philip Brown is also running for Place 2, but like the incumbent reported no fund raising in October.
Adam Thompson (R) has $11,879.04 in cash on hand in his quest to be the state auditor. He faces Ray Bryan (R) in the June Republican Primary. Bryan report having $754.12 in the end of October. The only Democrat running for a statewide office to file an October report is Miranda Corrine Joseph (D) who reported $2093.50.
The Shelby County Democrat is also running for Alabama State Auditor. Incumbent Samantha Shaw can not run for re-election because of term limits.