Even though 2015’s Election Day was not even a week ago, the first filing period for the 2016 elections concluded on Friday, in Alabama. A summary of candidate qualifying for both major parties appears below:
Republicans have become the dominant party in the state in recent years, meaning it’s little surprise that few Democrats filed to run, especially for the five statewide offices on the ballot. Alabama’s Congressional seats have also been drawn so that there is little likelihood any of them will change party control soon.
If there is drama in any of Alabama’s 2016 campaigns, it will come in the state’s March 1st Republican primary. A few contests bear watching:
- In AL-02, Becky Gerritson is mounting a conservative challenge to incumbent Congresswoman Martha Roby. Ms. Gerritson is a prominent Tea Party activist who testified before Congress in 2013 regarding the IRS treatment of conservative political organizations, and will clearly try to portray Rep. Roby as someone who has become too moderate since her election in 2010. Rep. Roby was unopposed in the GOP primary in both 2012 and 2014.
- Former Public Service Commissioner Terry Dunn is challenging incumbent Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh for the top spot on the three-member PSC. Mr. Dunn defeated a Democratic incumbent in 2010 to win a seat on the Commission, but lost the Republican primary for his seat in 2014 to Chip Beeker. Ms. Cavanaugh also first won election to the PSC in 2010, and defeated Democratic incumbent Lucy Baxley to become PSC President in 2012. This figures to be the most significant statewide primary race in Alabama next year.
- In AL-01, Dean Young lost the Republican primary runoff to Rep. Bradley Byrne by just a few thousand votes in a 2013 special election when the two were vying to succeed former Rep. Jo Bonner for this Congressional seat. However, it will be much more difficult for him to overcome the obvious advantages that Rep. Byrne has in this race as the incumbent.