By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
The last four years have been difficult for the Alabama Democratic Party. Once, the undisputed masters of the Alabama Political scene, the Democratic Party has not won a Statewide race since 2008, when Lucy Baxley was elected President of the Public Service Commission and Sue Bell Cobb won Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.
In 2010 the Alabama Democratic Party lost every statewide race and 130 years of legislature dominance came crashing to an end with the loss of both Houses of the state legislature. In 2012, the party struggled to even find candidates and at its lowest point the party had to remove its Supreme Court Chief Justice candidate, Harry Lyon, from the ballot for making crude and offensive comments on the internet. Many in the media questioned if there would even be any candidates qualify for statewide office as Democrats this year.
There were tense moments along the way and there is still a lot of animosity between the feuding Democratic factions, but on Friday all that was put aside and the battered and bruised Alabama Democratic Party had numerous candidates qualify for most major state offices.
For most of last year, it was impossible to find a Democrat who would publicly admit that he or she wanted to be Governor and now they have two candidates for the State of Alabamaís highest office. Former Fifth District Congressman Parker Griffith is back in the party that elected him and he faces Fayette businessman Kevin Bass in the June 3rd Democratic Primary.
Griffith is controversial because he abandoned the party in 2010 due to anger with the administration of President Barack H. Obama (D) over healthcare reform legislation. On the other hand Rep. Griffith joined tens of thousands of lifetime Democratic voters who left the Alabama Democratic Party in 2010 over disagreements with President Obama. For the Alabama Democratic Party to be viable again, those ìcentristî Democrats are exactly the people the Democrats need to have back again.
James C. Fields Jr. has qualified to run as Lieutenant Governor. The former Alabama State Representative from Cullman lost his house seat in the Republican wave of 2010, but he is back this time as a statewide candidate.
State Representative Joe Hubbard is running for Attorney General. The Montgomery attorney was elected in 2010.
In the Alabama Secretary of State race Lula Albert-Kaigler has qualified to represent Alabama Democrats on the ballot. She has no primary opponent.
Joe Cottle has qualified for Alabama State Treasurer.
Doug “New Blue” Smith is running for Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries
Miranda Karrine Joseph is running for State Auditor again.
For Alabama Board of Education District 4 Yvette M. Richardson (i) has qualified for another term on the school board.
In Alabamaís Second Congressional District Erick Wright qualified against Republican Martha Roby.
In Alabamaís Third Congressional District Jesse T. Smith has qualified to attempt to unseat Republican Mike Rogers (Rogers also has Republican Primary opponent,)
In Alabama Congressional District 7 the only Democrat in the Alabama Congressional Delegation, Terri Sewell (i) is facing a Democratic Primary challenge from Tamara Harris Johnson. Alabama Democrats are virtually guaranteed of holding on to the seat because the Republicans were unable to find a candidate in the seventh district.
There are still issues. The Alabama Democrats failed to find anyone who would challenge U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (i). They also abandoned the Public Service Commission and the Courts to the Republicans, but they have not abandoned the state to the Republican Party and considering where the Alabama Democratic Party was in July that has to be considered a victory of sorts.