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Democrats qualify for state Senate

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Monday, nine Democrats have qualified with the Alabama Democratic Party for the 35 seats in the Alabama State Senate.

For 135 years, the Alabama Democratic Party dominated the Alabama state Senate. That all came to an end in 2010 when Senator Del Marsh, R-Anniston, and then Alabama Republican Party Chairman State Representative Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, powered by the Tea Party, corruption, scandals and dissatisfaction with President Barack Obama’s administration led a Republican wave election that not only won Republicans control of the Senate, they won an incredible filibuster proof super majority.

Democrats are hoping that changes in the coming 2018 elections, but thus far, Democrats qualifying for state Senate races has been slow.

Amy Wasyluka is running in state Senate District 2 for the seat being vacated by Sen. Bill Holtzclaw, R-Madison.

State Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow, D-Red Bay, is running for state Senate District 6. He is challenging incumbent Sen. Larry Stutts, R-Sheffield.

Lindsey Deckard has qualified to run in state Senate District 16, challenging incumbent Sen. J.T. “Jabo” Waggoner, R-Vestavia.

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Incumbent Sen. Priscilla Dunn, D-Bessemer, has qualified for another term in state Senate District 19.

Incumbent Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison, D-Birmingham, has qualified for another term in state Senate District 20.

Incumbent Sen. Hank Sanders, D-Selma, has qualified for another term in state Senate District 23.

Incumbent Sen. Billy Beasley, D-Clayton, has qualified for another term representing state Senate District 28. Beasley is the only white Democrat currently serving in the Alabama Senate.

Incumbent Sen. Vivian Figures has qualified for state Senate District 33.

Tom Holmes has qualified for state Senate District 35. Senate District 33 is being vacated by incumbent Sen. Bill Hightower, R-Mobile. Hightower is running for the GOP nomination for governor.

District 26 is currently vacant. Former Sen. Quinton Ross, D-Montgomery, vacated the seat to become the president of Alabama State University.

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State Rep. John Knight, D-Montgomery, and Montgomery City Councilman David Burkette are running in the special Democratic primary runoff on Feb. 27. The winner of the runoff will face Republican D.J. Johnson in the special general election on May 15.  Presumably both of them will qualify to run in the 2018 regular election, as well. At this point, that is the only competitive Democratic Senate primary race.

Some Democratic incumbents have not yet qualified for 2018. These include Sens. Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro, in Senate District 24 and Rodger Smitherman, D-Birmingham, in Senate District 18.

Qualifying for both major parties ends on Feb. 9.

The major party primaries will be on June 5, 2018.

Democrats are hoping that U.S. Sen. Doug Jones’ statewide win in December’s special election will give them momentum heading into the November general election.

Written By

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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