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Opinion | Primary next week

One of the best races on the ballot next week will be for the newly drawn 2nd congressional district.

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This coming Tuesday, March 5, is Primary Election Day in Alabama. Your vote next week is probably as important this Tuesday as it will be in the November general election because winning the Republican nomination for a statewide position in Alabama is tantamount to election.

We have an early primary election this year because we are part of the Super Tuesday GOP Presidential Primary caravan. 

We do not have any close or interesting Alabama statewide races this year. The four Supreme Court seats up for election are held by popular incumbents, who are unopposed. The only contested Supreme Court race is for Chief Justice. Current Supreme Court Associate Justice Sarah Stewart is favored to win this race. She is imminently more qualified than her opposition. Justice Stewart has been on the Supreme Court a decade, and prior to that was a Circuit Court judge in Mobile for 16 years.

There is an open seat on the Court of Criminal Appeals where two assistant Attorney Generals, Thomas Govan and Rich Anderson, are running. Govan received most of the business and conservative groups’ endorsements and has worked the state diligently. 

Republican Civil Court of Appeals Judge Chad Hanson is up for reelection next week. He is doing a good job.

Popular conservative PSC President, Twinkle Cavanaugh, is up for reelection this year. She will win overwhelmingly as she should. She is the glue that keeps the PSC running smoothly.

One of the best races on the ballot next week will be for the newly drawn 2nd congressional district. This new seat was drawn by the federal courts to create a second majority minority district. When the federal courts drew the new lines, they strived to make sure that the new district would favor a Democrat. The proof in the pudding was an index attached to the plan presented by the Special Master selected by the Court, which revealed that in 16 of the last 17 General Elections a Democrat would have won this seat had it been on the ballot.

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The new 2nd district includes all of Montgomery and extends through the Black Belt and gathers most of the Black voters in Mobile. There are 12 Democratic candidates vying for this seat. Therefore, there will more than likely be a runoff for the Democratic nomination on April 16. There is no telling who will be in the runoff. Few, if any of the candidates, live in the district.

There are seven Republicans vying for the GOP nomination in the new 2nd district. There will more than likely be a runoff in this race, also. The three favorites to get one of the two runoff posts are former Montgomery State Senator Dick Brewbaker, current Escambia County State Senator Greg Albritton and Montgomery Attorney and Monroe County native Caroleene Dobson.

By virtue of redrawing the 2nd district, the federal courts have made the revised 1st district one of the most conservative and Republican in the nation. They combined the Wiregrass with the upscale, growing, suburban enclaves of Baldwin and Mobile Counties. Two incumbent Republican Congressmen, Jerry Carl, R-Mobile, and Barry Moore, R-Enterprise, were placed into the same district and are pitted against each other. 

Jerry Carl should be favored because two thirds of the voters in the new 1st district are in his current Baldwin County district. Baldwin County is one of, if not the most populous counties in the state. It has 246,000 people and comprises 1/3 of the population of the new 1st district. Half the votes cast in next Tuesday’s Republican Primary will be cast by Baldwin County residents. Thus, Baldwin County is the battleground for this congressional election. 

Almost every voter in Baldwin County is a Republican and very conservative. Barry Moore, who hails from the Wiregrass, faced an uphill battle when attempting to convince Baldwin County voters that he was more conservative than their own Jerry Carl. However, despite Carl’s perceived advantage over Moore, current polling reveals this is a close race. The winner of the Carl vs. Moore race next Tuesday wins it all because there are no Democratic candidates in this super Republican district.

Should Moore prevail, he owes his soul to the rightwing, anti-Trump, “Daddy Warbucks,” Club for Growth PAC. It is expected that this PAC is playing big for Moore like they did four years ago when they elected him to the old 2nd district. 

Our two most popular and powerful Republican Congressmen, Robert Aderholt and Gary Palmer, are up for reelection this Tuesday. They both have token opposition. To lose either of these congressmen would be devastating for Alabama.

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If you want your vote to count in this 2024 Presential Election year, then you need to go to the polls next Tuesday, March 5.

See you next week.

Steve Flowers is Alabama’s leading political columnist. His weekly column appears in over 60 Alabama newspapers. He served 16 years in the state legislature. Steve may be reached at www.steveflowers.us.

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