Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY— Currently, Republicans hold 66 seats in the Alabama House, with 37 Democrats, one vacancy and one independent.
The November 6 Republican Caucus meeting is set in hopes of electing a new Speaker without input from House Democrats. Current Speaker Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, who is under a Special Grand Jury indictment on 23 counts of public corruption, hopes to force a “fealty oath” vote at the meeting, so he can remain in control of the House body.
Last week, Rep. Jim Carns, R-Birmingham, held a meeting in the Magic City to lay out his case for becoming the next Speaker. Reports vary, but it is believed that Corey Harbison, Issac Whorton,Tim Wadsworth, Reed Ingram, David Standridge, Randall Shedd, Dickie Drake and Allen Treadaway attended the meeting.
A few others have said privately that they would back a Carns’ bid for Speaker.
Hubbard had around 12 House members at the “pep rally” after after his indictments. They were Rep. Ed Henry, Rep. Jack Williams, Rep. Alan Harper, Rep. Matt Fridy, Rep. Alan Baker, Rep. Paul Beckman, Rep. Mike Ball, Rep. David Sessions, Rep. April Weaver, Rep. Jim Patterson, Rep. Kerry Rich, and Rep. Mac McCutcheon.
If numbers stand unchanged after today’s election, the next Speaker would need 33+1 to take the top spot in the House, under the fealty oath.
Many have suggested that if the Caucus vote was a secret ballot, that Hubbard would lose outright. However, fear of reprisal is rampant within the Republican ranks.
Another House Member that has been mentioned as a replacement for Hubbard has been Rep. Mac McCutcheon, R-Huntsville. At one point McCutcheon, was mentioned by Bentley supporters as a man the Governor could work with, yet, after his speech at the Hubbard pep rally there is a fear that he is compromised.
The Caucus, with its loyalty pledge, may be of little consequence if Hubbard stands trial before the organization meeting in January.