By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
State Representative Craig Ford (D-Gadsden) announced Thursday that he will not be a Gubernatorial candidate in 2018. State Rep. Ford had been openly considering a run for Governor for the last year.
Rep. Ford said, “Over the last several years, I have been asked by people from all over the State to run for Governor. It has been truly humbling to receive so much support, and I am grateful to all of my supporters who have expressed so much confidence in me. But after prayerful consideration and many long conversations with my family, I have decided not to enter the race for Governor next year.”
Ford continued, “While I will not be a candidate for Governor, I do intend to run for office locally, and am strongly considering running for the State Senate. My priority and passion have always been serving the people of Etowah, Cherokee and De Kalb Counties. We have a lot of work to do, and the people deserve a strong Senator who can actually get things done. But whether I run for state senate or another office, I will continue to prioritize education, fight for a lottery and work to grow our economy and create good-paying jobs.”
Rep. Craig Ford represents House District 28, which includes the city of Gadsden in Etowah County, in the Alabama House of Representatives. Ford served as the House Minority Leader from 2010 to 2016. Ford has been a vocal lottery proponent.
Rep. Ford had been talking about a run for Governor; but in 2016 he said that Democrats need new leadership to be competitive in statewide elections. He openly called for Party Chairwoman Nancy Worley and Alabama Democratic Conference head Joe Reed to both resign. Neither resigned and it appears now that the Alabama Democratic Party will go into the 2018 elections with the same leadership team they had in the 2016 and 2014 elections. Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb and marriage equality activist Chris Countryman have both already announced that they will run for the Democratic nomination for Governor.
Ford has repeatedly introduced lottery bills in the State Legislature. He is also a vocal proponent of building a new sportsplex in Etowah County featuring youth sports.
State Senator Phil Williams (R-Rainbow City) in Senate District 10 reportedly is not running for a third term in the US Senate. If Ford could pick up the seat for Democrats, they would still need to pick up other seats in order to break the Senate GOP Caucus’s supermajority.
State Representative Mack Butler (R-Rainbow City) is considering running for the Republican nomination in Senate District 10. Senate District ten includes parts of Etowah, Cherokee, and DeKalb Counties.
Only one Democrat has won a Governor’s race in Alabama since 1986, Don Siegelman in 1998. The last time any Democrat has won any statewide ballot in Alabama was 2008. Sue Bell Cobb and Lucy Baxley were elected then for Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice and Public Service Commission President.
The major party primaries are on June 5, 2018.