By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Qualifying for all political offices in Alabama for the two major parties ended on Friday, November 6. All of Alabama’s Congressional incumbents are running again and all are facing challengers either in their party’s primary or in the general election and in some cases: both. In Congressional District 1, incumbent U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R from Montrose) faces a rematch with his 2013 Republican special election runoff opponent, Dean Young. The Dean Young versus Bradley Byrne Republican special election runoff to replace the retiring Jo Bonner (R from Mobile) drew national media attention. Dean Young, a key aide and fundraiser for Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) tried to portray Byrne (a former State Senator and head of Alabama’s two year college system) as too moderate and the Byrne campaign tried to portray Young as too extreme to be an effective Congressman. Can Young recapture the momentum from 2013 that almost won him the Republican nomination or are conservatives satisfied with Byrne’s job performance? No Democrat qualified to run in the conservative first congressional district so the primary is likely winner take all.
In the Second Congressional District, incumbent Congresswoman Martha Roby (R from Montgomery) faces two primary challengers in Robert L. “Bob” Rogers and Wetumpka Tea Party Founder and President Becky Gerritson. Whoever wins the GOP Primary will then face Nathan Mathis (D) in the November General Election.
In District 3, incumbent Representative Mike Rogers (R from Saks) faces former Phenix City School Superintendent Larry DiChiara from Auburn in the Alabama Republican Party Primary. The winner of the primary contest will then face Jesse Smith (D) in the General Election. Smith ran against Rogers 66.1 to 33.7 percent in 2014.
In Congressional District 4 incumbent Robert Aderholt (R from Haleyville) is being challenged by Phil Norris. Aderholt is the longest tenured member of the Alabama Congressional Delegation, serving since 1996. Norris ran in the Seventh Congressional District in 2012 but lost in the GOP primary to Don Chamberlain. The winner of the Republican Primary will likely take all because there is no Democratic opponent running in the conservative fourth district.
In District 5 incumbent Mo Brooks (R from Huntsville) has no Republican primary opponent. Brooks will have to face Will Boyd Jr. (D) in the November General Election. Brooks beat his last Democratic challenger by 74.4 percent to 25.2 percent.
Similarly, in the Sixth Congressional District incumbent Gary Palmer (R from Hoover) does not have a Primary opponent. David J. Putnam (D) however is challenging Palmer in the November General Election. This will be the first time that Gary Palmer has stood for re-election. The voters selected Palmer out of a crowded GOP Primary field to replace the retiring Spencer Bachus (R from Vestavia).
In the Seventh Congressional District, incumbent Terri A. Sewell (D from Selma) has no Democratic Primary opponent. The three term incumbent however does face a Republican challenger in the General election in David Van Williams.
These lists are not official and are still subject to possible changes.
The 2016 Party Primaries will be on March 1.