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Campaign finance reports show tight House, Senate races

By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News

There are 25 Alabama House and eight Alabama Senate contests between Republicans and Democrats on the Nov. 8 ballot. 

Not all of them will be competitive, but September campaign finance reports show real contests for some open seats — and a few situations where incumbents are having to work to try to keep their seats.


One of the most-watched House races is District 74 in Montgomery. It was significantly redrawn last year, against the wishes of Republican incumbent Rep. Charlotte Meadows. Meadows, during the redistricting process last fall, told her GOP colleagues that adding traditionally Democratic areas to the district would leave her vulnerable for reelection. this new district.

Now, Democrat Phillip Ensler has raised $203,593 in cash contributions, spent $162,568 and had on hand $71,034 at the end of September. Meadows has raised and spent less: nearly $99,000 and $17,980, respectively, but had $90,233 on hand.

In Huntsville’s House District 10, Republican David Cole and Democrat Marilyn Lands were nearly even in fundraising, bringing in $119,000 and $117,000 respectively. Cole had about $82,300 on hand at the end of September, Lands had $56,000. 

The seat is empty after the retirement of Rep. Mike Ball, R-Madison. In August, he told Alabama Daily News the district has become more purple and he expected a competitive race.

In House District 15 in Shelby County, another open seat, Republican Leigh Hulsey had $54,454 on hand at the end of September, compared to Democrat Richard Ruoco’s $43,000.

In open House District 25, Democrat Mallory Hagan has out slightly raised Republican Phillip Rigsby, according to their reports. Hagan had $51,000 on hand, compared to Rigsby’s $50,800. That district straddles the Madison and Limestone county line and is open after the retirement of  Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon, R-Monrovia.


In Madison County’s Senate District 2, incumbent Republican Tom Butler, R-Madison, has spent nearly $600,000 on his reelection bid. Much of that spending was in a May primary contest. As of the end of September, he had about $151,000 on hand in his contest with Democrat Kimberly Lewis, who has raised about $124,000 and had $46,700 on hand at the end of September.

In Senate District 7, also in Madison County, incumbent Sam Givhan, R-Huntsville, has raised  more than $383,000 and has a significant advantage over Democrat Korey Wilson.

Lisa Ward, Democrat candidate for Senate District 21 in west Alabama, has raised more than $78,000 in her campaign against long-time incumbent Sen. Gerald Allen, R-Tuscaloosa. Allen has raised more than $247,000 and had $212,000 on hand at the end of September.

Jay Hovey of Auburn has raised significant money since being declared the GOP nominee for Senate District 27 in June, more than a month after he beat incumbent Sen. Tom Whatley by one vote. Hovey has $182,762 on hand. Sherri Reese is the Democrat on the ballot.

The Senate District 23 seat, long held by Democrats, is open this cycle after Sen. Malika Sanders-Fortier, D-Selma, left after one term to run for governor. Democrat Robert Stewart has $38,464 available to spend, as of the end of September. Republican Michael Nimmer is on the ballot Nov. 8, but has not filed any campaign finance reports.

In Senate District 32, redrawn last year to include parts of Mobile and Baldwin counties, long-time incumbent Vivian Figures, D-Mobile, is leading fundraising against GOP challenger Pete Riehm. Figures had nearly $116,000 on hand for the last month of campaigning, compared to Riehm’s almost $55,000.

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