The Walt Maddox campaign announced on Monday that Ron Sparks endorsed the candidate.
“Walt has compassion and he has leadership,” Sparks said. “He stood in the streets of Tuscaloosa in its darkest hours and darkest days. He showed compassion, leadership, and strength to rebuild the city. He will never put party over the people of AL.”
Sparks made the announcement in Tuscaloosa.
“I am honored to receive the endorsement of Ron Sparks,” Maddox said. “Ron has been a political force in Alabama for years and he shares our vision for a better Alabama. He will be an invaluable asset to this campaign and to my administration should I be elected Governor.”
Sparks was the commissioner of the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries for two terms from 2003 to 2011. He was also the 2010 Democratic nominee for governor, but lost the general election to state Rep.Robert Bentley, R-Tuscaloosa. Bentley appointed Sparks to work in his administration from 2011 to 2017, tasked with growing the economy of rural Alabama.
Sparks was not retained by Gov. Kay Ivey. Sparks is from Dekalb County.
Sparks is one of the most popular Democrats in recent Alabama political history. In his 2006 race for agriculture commissioner, Sparks won 62 of Alabama’s 67 counties.
Maddox is the mayor of Tuscaloosa. He is running in a crowded Democratic primary field that includes former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb, Christopher Countryman, former state Rep. James Fields and Doug “New Blue” Smith.
The major party primaries will be on June 5.