Now or later? What will happen with remaining ARPA funds?
By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News
Alabama lawmakers, particularly those on the General Fund budget committees, will have a larger task in the legislative session that begins in January. But it’s still unclear how much of the remaining about $1.6 billion American Rescue Plan Act will be allocated in the Legislature’s spring meeting.
“We’ve got a lot more to figure out than just the Education Trust Fund and General Fund,” said Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Range, said about lawmakers’ normal annual budgeting process.
The state’s more than $2 billion in ARPA money comes in two tranches, about half this year and half likely in June of 2022, according to the Department of Finance. By May, lawmakers will have already ended their 2022 session.
Whether they’ll allocate all the money in the spring session or wait to distribute the 2022 share is still being discussed.
“I believe that it’s just like any other revenue that’s scheduled to come in during the fiscal year, I think we can go ahead and appropriate that money for when it arrives,” Albritton said recently. “There’s a feeling though, another argument, that we shouldn’t do it because it’ll have to be done by a supplemental appropriation… So we don’t we don’t know how we’re going to proceed yet.”
Even if lawmakers only focus on what’s left of this year’s ARPA allocation — after dedicating about $400 million on new prisons earlier this year and $80 million for hospitals and nursing homes — that’s more than $560 million.
Albritton said lawmakers are hearing from “everyone and their in-laws” about what should be done with the federal money.
Lawmakers don’t have to rush, per federal rules. The funds have to be obligated by the end of 2024 and spent by 2026.
Rep. Steve Clouse, R-Ozark, the House General Fund budget committee chairman, said there may be reason to hold off on distributing all the money this year.
“It might be better to see how things are shaping up, as far as broadband and water and sewer,” Clouse said about significant projects to be done with federal money. “We’ll just see how those different issues develop, where the most money is needed.”
Separate from ARPA, Alabama will receive more than $100 million for broadband expansion under the $1 trillion federal infrastructure plan recently signed by President Joe Biden. The massive federal spending plan includes $65 billion for broadband access nationwide.
“That’s going to add a lot of money to the state,” Clouse said. “(The infrastructure plan) is going to add a significant amount more for rural broadband and water and sewer projects in particular.”
For broadband, the infrastructure plan includes $100 million for each state. Even more money will be available through need-based grants.
“That will probably bode pretty well for Alabama,” Clouse said.
An estimate early this year said it could cost $4 billion to $6 billion to expand access statewide.
The Alabama Legislature earlier this year created the Alabama Digital Expansion Authority to oversee the expansion of high-speed broadband internet services throughout the state, but there’s no specific revenue stream for the effort that experts have said will take billions of dollars.
The authority has until early next year to develop and begin executing a statewide connectivity plan, including a timeline for implementation.
Sen. Arthur Orr, chair of the Senate education budget committee, said he’d expect some but not all of the first ARPA tranche to be allocated this spring.
“We’re still having conversations about the best ways to strategically spend this money,” Orr said. “We need to be smart about this, it’s a one-time occurrence.”
There may be another reason not to dole out all the funds this spring. The revenue replacement mechanism in the federal rules that allowed the state to spend ARPA money on new prisons this year is still available. There’s a formula for calculating money the state would have earned through normal business had there not been a pandemic. States get to calculate the amount again at the end of this year, 2022 and 2023. While the amount is expected to shrink with time, the replacement funds could still be a chunk of money lawmakers can spend with fewer strings attached than other ARPA funds.
Separately, a federal judge recently ruled that the U.S. Treasury can’t keep states from using American Rescue Plan Act funds to offset new tax cuts.
Albritton said he’s glad to have the freedom to use the money as needed.
“But that does not mean we’re going to take one-time money and give a permanent tax cut,” Albritton said.
Will Blanchard pull the trigger?
By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News
Perhaps the biggest rumor swirling around the Alabama political universe during this decidedly slow time is that Lynda Blanchard’s switch from running for U.S. Senate to running for governor is imminent. We’ve reported on this possibility for months and IAP is told an official announcement could take place the week after Thanksgiving.
Blanchard is buoyed this week by a Wall Street Journal story that pretty much makes it seem like former President Donald Trump is eager to endorse her against incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey. That had talk radio all abuzz Monday.
A few points of clarification here. First, IAP reported the anecdote included in the WSJ story in September. Second, the story gets it backward. Blanchard has twice had an audience with Trump, once in Mara Lago and once in Bedminster, New Jersey expressly for the purpose of asking for his endorsement in the governor’s race. According to multiple sources with knowledge of these meetings, it was Blanchard, not Trump, who was eager for the endorsement. He reportedly told her he would consider the request if she showed she could compete and win against the incumbent governor. Also, while much of the political world was convinced the USS Alabama flap would doom Ivey, the governor met Trump on a Birmingham runway for a photo op in August, something Trump never would have allowed if he were really out to get her.
All that said, Blanchard is said to be all in and ready to switch to the governor’s race. Word to Inside Alabama Politics is that her campaign has some polling showing Ivey is vulnerable, especially after message testing. Pollsters will sometimes run a straight survey testing the name ID and favorability of a candidate, then feed respondents some negative information about opponents to gauge whether or nor voters would support them after knowing the bad stuff. It can help campaigns hone a message and figure out whether they are viable. The Blanchard camp has done plenty of this message testing against Ivey and, according to sources, feels confident about pressing forward.
The wild card here is Tim James. IAP previously reported that James is leaning toward another run for governor himself. He is said to be meeting with family over the Thanksgiving holiday to make the final decision. One source close to James told IAP that he is “90 percent in.”
Playing the tape through to the end, one can easily see a scenario in which Blanchard and James drink each other’s milkshakes. If you assume that 30-40% of the Republican electorate doesn’t care for Kay Ivey, the only way to beat her in a primary is to grow that number, not fight for domination of it.
Mo’ monuments, mo’ problems
By CAROLINE BECK, Alabama Daily News
A northern Alabama Republican lawmaker said he plans to bring legislation next year to make adjustments to the state’s monuments protection act.
Rep. Mike Ball, R-Madison, told Alabama Daily News that he has never liked the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act passed in 2017 because it minimizes local control.
“The Republican Party has traditionally been about governing from the bottom up rather than the top down and that bill was the state creating a bureaucracy for decisions that were made by local officials,” Ball said. “If a local official puts it up they ought to take it down.”
Ball was one of the few Republicans at the time who voted against the 2017 bill that was in response to Confederate monuments being taken down across the U.S.
Ball said his legislation would be similar to what was proposed to the House Judiciary Committee earlier this year from Rep. Juandalynn Givan, D-Birmingham, but not exactly the same.
Her bill, which was voted down by the committee, would have allowed cities and counties to remove monuments up to 50 years old. Any monument older would go through a waiver process that would allow a state committee to make the decision on removing or relocating it.
Ball said his bill will have local officials work with the Department of Archives to determine the future of the monument that a community would like removed. He said he wants to preserve history but also allow more local control into the situation.
“It puts some common sense in it,” Ball said.
The lawmakers supporting the original preservation act have said it is about preserving history.
“How can we tell a complete story if we start removing history,” Sen. Gerald Allen, R-Tuscaloosa, told reporters after he attempted to pass a bill last year that would have increased the act’s fines. That bill never received a vote in the Senate.
The 2017 act prohibits relocating, removing, altering or renaming public buildings, streets and memorials that have been standing for more than 40 years. Breaking the law can lead to a one-time $25,000 fine, which some cities and counties have opted to do within the last two years.
Ball says he knows it is very unlikely that the Republican-controlled legislature would ever pass his bill, especially during an election year, but says that also points to the problem with the origins of the bill.
“It is bad policy that was grown out of an overreaction from politics at the time and what it’s done is made anything that’s over 40 years old sacrosanct,” Ball said.
Next year will be Ball’s last as a member of the House of Representatives as he is not running for reelection.
Business versus populists. Who holds sway?
By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News
It’s saying something when the biggest controversy from the special session on redistricting has nothing to do with redistricting. Such was the case this time as the brouhaha over vaccines and vaccine mandates dominated the waning days of the second special session of 2021. Democrats and Republicans could not have been further apart on the main legislation, Sen. Chris Elliott’s bill making it easier for workers in the state to opt out of federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates, and that spilled out into sometimes lengthy debates among members.
But the real drama wasn’t on the House or Senate floors, but behind the scenes as business groups tried to talk lawmakers out of moving forward with a state law that would put companies between a rock and a hard place with competing state and federal mandates. Adding to that drama was the sustained presence of anti-vaccine protestors who made their sometimes quite colorful presence known in committee meetings and in the House and Senate galleries.
It wasn’t necessarily those physically present at the State House that made the biggest impact on members, but rather the many individual constituents they heard from who were downright frightened by the vaccine and the prospect of losing their jobs if they chose not to get it. Several lawmakers told ADN the incoming calls and emails from constituents constituted a tipping point that convinced the Republican supermajority that some kind of action on vaccines was necessary.
In the end, the laws that passed were not nearly as anti-business as some feared before the session. Bill sponsors worked with the business community and the governor’s office to make the legislation more workable for companies caught in the middle. Yet, there was a palpable feeling in the State House that business groups who have long supported Republican candidates – BCA, NFIB, Manufacture Alabama, and others – were run over in an attempt to satisfy the populist inclinations of the modern Republican electorate.
The situation reminded some, on a much smaller scale, of the 2011 regular session during the Tea Party era. That’s when lawmakers rushed to pass the strictest immigration law in the country, all while being warned of its unintended consequences. A decade later, much of the Beason-Hammon Immigration Act has been rescinded by the courts, except for the parts that give businesses headaches. Likewise, the federal vaccine mandates Republicans were attempting to fight are no longer in effect, either paused by the courts or rescinded by the White House, and yet the state’s mandate on business remains.
All of this is occurring right as campaign season gets underway, and there is talk among business leaders about whether a different approach might be taken this time around with regard to candidate support. Most incumbent Republicans have come to expect the financial backing of BCA and other groups. Will the frayed nerves change that status quo?
Perhaps more importantly, how will the Republicans’ rush toward populism impact the 2022 regular session? There will surely be dozens of bills filed on vaccines and other topics that appeal to the MAGA crowd. How many of those will come at the expense of the business community?
One question that will rattle around the various caucus meetings from now until Jan. 11 is whether or not trying to pacify a raucous crowd is worth it. The action the Legislature did take on vaccine mandates wasn’t good enough for those who were pushing the hardest. Health Freedom Alabama, a group set up and funded to push for stronger anti-vaccine measures, specifically Rep. Tommy Hanes’ bill allowing employees to sue employers over such requirements, was not impressed with the final results. It awarded Alabama’s three highest ranking officials – Gov. Kay Ivey, Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth and House Speaker Mac McCutcheon the “Tar and Feather Award” for not being fully supportive of their position. All three supported the final anti-vaccine mandate legislation, with Ivey signing it into law.
The art work is really quite something. With friends like these…
AEA flexes money muscle
By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News
The Alabama Education Association is flexing its considerable political muscle this campaign season. The group’s PAC, Alabama Voice of Teachers for Education, gave $400,000 in campaign contributions to legislative incumbents in the month of October alone. That total included $230,00 going to Republican lawmakers’ campaign accounts in the form of $10,000 and $15,000 checks.
AEA spread the money around to both new and veteran Republicans. For instance, the newest members of the body, Reps. Cynthia Almond, R-Tuscaloosa and Kenneth Pascal, R-Pelham, each got $10,000 checks, as did relative newcomer Rep. Van Smith, R-Prattville. Dean of the Senate Jabo Waggoner, R-Vestavia, got $10,000 as did Rep. Steve Clouse, R-Ozark. In all, 21 Republicans and 11 Democrats were on the receiving end of AEA’s first round of campaign contributions for the 2022 cycle. November’s report is sure to show more.
There was a time not long ago when most Republicans would have never taken campaign cash from the teacher’s union. That has not been the case the last few election cycles, as the old wars between the ALGOP and AEA appear mostly a thing of the past. With $3.7 million remaining in their PAC after this round of giving, it’s a safe bet that Amy Marlowe and AEA will be the 2022 cycle’s most influential organization money wise.
Legislative race update
By CAROLINE BECK, MARY SELL and TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News
Dismukes will seek reelection
State Rep. Will Dismukes, R-Prattville, tells Alabama Daily News he will run for reelection to House District 88. The Republican primary for the Prattville and Millbrook-based seat had already been among the most interesting legislative races to watch statewide.
However, it was unclear whether Dismukes would run for reelection given that his campaign had not filed any finance reports with the Secretary of State’s office.
“Yes, I am running and there will be an announcement soon,” Dismukes said. “We haven’t filed a report yet but I’m feeling good about fundraising and this reelection campaign.”
The other announced candidates include Joshua Pendergrass, a pastor and former communications director for Gov. Kay Ivey, and Prattville City Council President Jerry Starnes. However, the new legislative districts recently passed by the Alabama Legislature drew Pendergrass out of House District 88 by just a few blocks. If the new districts stand, that would leave just Dismukes and Starnes, barring more entrants into the race.
Pendergrass has not been shy about expressing his displeasure with how redistricting was handled.
“Political gerrymandering took me – by the distance of a few hundred yards mind you – out of HD 88 because my campaign was gaining momentum and it was becoming clear I can win,” Pendergrass told ADN. “That scares politicos because I will always do what is right by our community, not necessarily what those same power-brokers demand.”
Dismukes was elected to the House in 2018 with a resounding runoff win over longtime Probate Judge Al Booth. He later flirted with running for U.S. Senate and did announce a run for U.S. Congress before dropping out.
After that, Dismukes’ fortunes changed for the worse as he faced criticism and calls for resignation for speaking at a birthday party honoring Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, an early Ku Klux Klan leader. In 2020 he was charged with theft by the Montgomery County District Attorney, accused of stealing from a former employer. That case is ongoing and Dismukes has maintained that he’s innocent. Earlier this year, Dismukes and his wife, Amber divorced.
Fredricks enters House District 14 race
Tom Fredricks, a vocal opponent to the 2019 state gas tax increase and former House candidate, is running again in 2022. This time in House District 14.
Fredricks announced on social media his candidacy in the recently redraw district that now includes most of Winston County, northwest Cullman, western and southern Walker County and a sliver of northern Jefferson County.
“(The district) where true Republicans have lived for generations has been alluring and refreshing in a state filled with recent former Democrats or RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) invading and compromising our party,” Fredricks wrote. “The grit, conviction, and willingness to go against the grain to preserve liberty and freedom, after 21 years of co-residency in Winston Co. has drawn me in…”
Fredricks was the chief sponsor of an anti-gas tax resolution approved by the ALGOP in early 2019. The Legislature went on to approve the tax increase. Fredricks, owner of Fredricks Outdoor off of I-65 near Decatur, ran twice for House District 4 in Morgan and Limestone Counties in 2017 and 2018, but lost to State Rep. Parker Moore, R-Hartselle.
So far, Fredricks hasn’t had to file a campaign finance report in this race.
House District 14 is now held by Rep. Tim Wadsworth, R-Arley, who could not be reached for comment about his plans for 2022. Wadsworth did file in October his first monthly campaign finance report of the election cycle. He collected about $25,000 last month and ended the month with about $46,000 on hand.
Republican Cory Franks is also seeking the seat. Franks is a 10-year law enforcement officer and in his second term as mayor of Oakman in Walker County. He has about $3,000 in his campaign account.
Packed Republican Primary for HD 13
The race to win Rep. Connie Rowe’s House seat is shaping up to be the most crowded Republican primary race this election season with four candidates now vying for House District 13.
The newest candidates include Charlie Waits, an attorney from Jasper, who according to the most recent campaign finance documents filed with the Secretary of State has spent $5,928 and has a current ending balance of $2,071, and Christopher Dozier, who has raised $1,600 and spent $256 and has an ending balance of $2,343.
Waits said on his campaign’s Facebook page that he aligns with today’s Republican party values like ending vaccine mandates, prohibiting abortions and opposing tax increases.
The other two candidates in the race are Matthew Woods, a Jasper business owner and appointed Alabama Community College System board of trustees, and Walker County Commissioner and realtor Keith Davis.
The seat became open after Rowe, R-Jasper, announced that she will join Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth’s staff as an advisory in January.
Per state law, there won’t be a special election to replace her in the last session of the quadrennium and the House District 13 seat will be vacant in the 2022 regular session.
House District 29
Another Republican candidate has entered the race for House District 29, the seat recently held by Rep. Becky Nordgren, R-Gadsden.
ADN previously reported that Nordgren’s seat would remain vacant after she was elected to the Etowah County Revenue Commissioner and took office Oct. 1.
The newest candidate to enter the race is Republican Jamie Grant, who is currently serving on the Etowah County Commission and served for 22 years with the Alabama National Guard and the 20th Special Forces Group as a senior communication intelligence advisor and a senior criminal analyst for a counterdrug program.
Grant has raised $11,080 for his campaign and has spent $4,309.
Mark Gidley, a Republican from Hokes Bluff, is the other candidate and currently has raised $14,387 for his campaign and has spent $12,368.
House District 40
Another Republican candidate has entered the race for Rep. K.L. Brown’s, R-Jacksonville, House District 49 seat. Brown is not running for reelection.
Campaign finance reports show that a Jakob Williamson has registered for the race as a Republican and so far has raised $3,670 for his campaign and has spent $76.
The other candidates are Republican Julie Borrelli, who has so far raised $3,260 and has spent $2,600. Borrelli is currently the director of finance for the City of Anniston.
Pam Howard is the only Democratic candidate in the race and so far has raised $4,380 and has spent $1,646. Howard is a Jacksonville resident and owner of a security company.
Democrat candidate joins HD 95 race
Democrat Richard Brackner has joined the race for House District 95. Current Rep. Steve McMillan, R-Gulf Shores, will not be running for reelection next year.
Brackner currently has raised $1,730 and hasn’t spent any funds. He said in a Facebook post that he is focusing on education, conservation, criminal justice reform, expanding Medicaid and ending sales tax on necessities.
“If elected I’ll be a big proponent of getting Alabama a lottery because we can allocate money raised through the lottery to subsidize education,” Brackner said in a post.
Republican candidate Frances Holk-Jones has so far raised $125,500 and has spent $4,078.
The race to take on the open seat for House District 100 now has at least one announced candidate. Current Rep. Victor Gaston, R-Mobile, will be leaving the seat next year after serving in the legislature since 1982.
Republican Mark Shirey, an optometrist from Mobile, is now running for the seat and currently hasn’t raised or spent on funds but has taken out a loan of $24,500, according to his November campaign report.
Shirey said that his experience of owning his own small business will help him be a better legislator.
“As an optometrist and owner of a business, I know first hand the importance of transparency and integrity,” Shirey said in a campaign announcement. “These two qualities are what we need in Montgomery. I want to serve the people of West Mobile and Alabama to continue recruiting and retaining high quality jobs to our area, work to improve our infrastructure so that our port and airport can be a leader in imports and exports in America, and work to improve our education system.”
Updated House Race Chart
|District||Incumbent||2022 Status||Announced candidates|
|1||Phillip Pettus||Running||Maurice McCaney (R)|
|2||Lynn Greer||Open seat||Jason Spencer Black, (R), Kimberly Butler (R), Ben Harrison (R), Terrance Irelan (R)|
|3||Andrew Sorrell||Open Seat||Susan Bentley (D), Wesley Thompson (D). Fred Joly (R), Kerry Underwood (R)|
|4||Parker Moore||Running||Patrick Johnson (R), Sheila Banister (R)|
|7||Proncey Robertson||Running||Ernie Yarbrough (R), Moses Jones Jr. (D)|
|10||Mike Ball||Open Seat||David Cole (R), Marilyn Lands (D)|
|12||Corey Harbison||Running||James C. Fields Jr. (D)|
|13||Connie Rowe||Open Seat||Greg Barnes (R), Keith Davis (R), Christopher Dozier (R), Charles Waits (R), Matt Woods (R)|
|14||Tim Wadsworth||Running||Cory Franks (R), Tom Fredricks (R)|
|15||Allen Farley||Open Seat||Leigh Hulsey (R), Richard Rouco (D), Brad Tompkins (R)|
|20||Howard Sanderford||Open Seat||James D. Brown (R), Frances Taylor (R), Angela McClure (R), James Lomax (R)|
|23||Tommy Hanes||Running||Mike Kirkland (R)|
|24||Nathaniel Ledbetter||Running||Don Stout (R)|
|25||Mac McCutcheon||Open Seat||Buck Clemons (R), Mallory Hagan (D), Phillip Rigsby (R)|
|26||Kerry Rich||Open seat||Ben Alford (D), Brock Colvin (R), Annette Holcomb (R), Todd Mitchem (R)|
|27||Wes Kitchens||Running||Herb Neu (D)|
|28||Gil Isbell||Running||Mack Butler (R)|
|29||Becky Nordgren||Open Seat||Mark Gidley (R), Jamie Grant (R)|
|31||Mike Holmes||Open seat||R.T. Barksdale (R), Chadwick Smith (R), Troy Stubbs (R)|
|32||Barbara Boyd||Running||Evan Jackson (R)|
|33||Ben Robbins||Running||Fred Crum Sr. (D)|
|38||Debbie Wood||Running||Micah Messer (R)|
|39||Ginny Shaver||Running||Brent Rhodes (R)|
|40||K.L. Brown||Open Seat||Gayla Blanton (R), Julie Borrelli (R), Katie Exum (R), Pam Howard (D), Bill Lester (R), Bill McAdams (R), Chad Robertson (R), Jakob Williamson (D)|
|41||Corley Ellis||Running||Chris Nelson (D)|
|43||Arnold Mooney||Running||Prince Cleveland (D)|
|45||Dickie Drake||Running||Susan Dubose (R)|
|47||David Wheeler||Open Seat||Christian Coleman (D), Jim Toomey (D), Republican yet to be named|
|48||Jim Carns||Running||William Wentowski (R)|
|49||Russell Bedsole||Running||Michael Hart (R)|
|52||John Rogers||Running||LaTanya Millhouse (D)|
|54||Neil Rafferty||Running||Britt Blalock (D), Edward Maddox (D)|
|55||Rod Scott||Running||Travis Hendrix (D), Phyllis Oden-Jones (D), Fred "Coach" Plump (D), Antwon Womack (D)|
|56||Louise Alexander||Open Seat||Tereshia Huffman (D), Cleo King (D), Jesse Matthews (D), Ontario Tillman (D)|
|57||Merika Coleman||Open Seat||Kevin Dunn (D), Danielle Matthews (D), Charles Ray Winston III (D), Delor Baumann (R)|
|60||Juandalynn Givan||Running||Nina Taylor (D)|
|61||Rodney Sullivan||Open Seat||Ron Bolton (R), Kimberly Madison (R)|
|62||Rich Wingo||Open Seat||Brenda Cephus (D) Bill Lamb (R)|
|63||Cynthia Almond||Running||Samual Adams (D)|
|64||Harry Shiver||Open Seat||Angelo Jacob Fermo (R), Donna Givens (R)|
|65||Brett Easterbrook||Running||Dee Ann Campbell (R), Marcus Caster (D)|
|67||Prince Chestnut||Running||Laurine Pettway (D), Jarmal Jabbar Sanders (R)|
|68||Thomas Jackson||Running||Fred Kelley (R)|
|69||Kelvin Lawrence||Running||Karla Knight Maddox (R)|
|72||Ralph Howard||Running||Curtis Travis (D)|
|74||Charlotte Meadows||Running||Malcolm Calhoun (D), Phillip Ensler (D)|
|82||Pebblin Warren||Running||Terrence Johnson (D), Lennora Tia Pierrot (R)|
|85||Dexter Grimsley||Running||Payne Henderson (R)|
|87||Jeff Sorrells||Running||Eric E. Johnson (R)|
|88||Will Dismukes||Running||Will Dismukes (R), Jerry Starnes (R)|
|89||Wes Allen||Open Seat||Marcus Paramore (R)|
|91||Rhett Marques||Running||Les Hogan (R)|
|92||Mike Jones, Jr.||Open Seat||Steve Hubbard (D), Greg White (R), Matthew Hammett (R)|
|94||Joe Faust||Running||Jennifer Fidler (R)|
|95||Steve McMillan||Open Seat||Frances Holk-Jones (R), Richard Brackner(D), Michael Ludvigsen (R), Reginald Pulliam (R)|
|96||Matt Simpson||Running||Danielle Duggar (R)|
|99||Sam Jones||Running||Levi Wright Jr. (D)|
|100||Victor Gaston||Open Seat||Pete Kupfer (R), Joe Piggot (R), Mark Shirley (R)|
Updated Senate Race Chart
|District||Incumbent||2022 Status||Announced candidates|
|1||Tim Melson||Running||John Sutherland (R)|
|2||Tom Butler||Running||Kim Caudle Lewis (D), Bill Holtzclaw (R)|
|7||Sam Givhan||Running||Korey Wilson (D)|
|11||Jim McClendon||Open Seat||Lance Bell (R), Michael Wright (R)|
|12||Del Marsh||Open Seat||Keith Kelley (R), Wendy Ghee Draper (R), Wayne Willis (R), Danny McCullars (D)|
|13||Randy Price||Running||John Allen Coker (R)|
|15||Dan Roberts||Running||Brian Christine (R)|
|17||Shay Shelnutt||Running||Mike Dunn (R)|
|19||Priscilla Dunn||Open Seat||Merika Coleman (D), Louise Alexander (D)|
|20||Linda Coleman-Madison||Running||Rodney Huntley (D)|
|21||Gerald Allen||Running||Lisa Ward (D)|
|22||Greg Albritton||Running||Stephen Sexton (R)|
|23||Malika Sanders-Fortier||Open Seat||Darrio Melton (D), Michael Nimmer (R), Hank Sanders (D), Thayer Bear Spencer, (D) Robert Stewart (D)|
|27||Tom Whatley||Running||Jay Hovey (R), Sherri Reese (D)|
|28||Billy Beasley||Running||Frank "Chris" Lee (D)|
|29||Donnie Chesteen||Running||Nathan Mathis (D)|
|31||Jimmy Holley||Open Seat||Mike Jones (R), Josh Carnley (R), Norman Horton|
|33||Vivian Figures||Running||Pete Riehm (R)|
Senate race update
There’s no question that Katie Britt had a good month of November in the race for U.S. Senate. A series of three polls showed the race between her and perceived frontrunner Mo Brooks tightening considerably.
On the heels of the surge, several Alabama insiders told IAP they had received survey calls from the Club for Growth, which is supporting Brooks. The group has run two previous polls for the Huntsville congressman, both with favorable numbers. Most assumed another survey would surface as counter messaging to the Britt polls, something to stop the pot from boiling over. Yet, no numbers were ever released. That has some Alabama politicos wondering if the Club for Growth numbers mirrored the ones from Cygnal, Strategy Group and Target Point, which they surely wouldn’t want to release.
Just yesterday, Club released a television ad attacking Britt for being a part of Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed’s transition team and for supporting the Rebuild Alabama gas tax increase as president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama. It’s a tough ad that serves as an indication of how serious this race might get. However, the ad buy itself isn’t that serious. According to a spokesman for Club for Growth Action, the group is spending just $10,000 to run the ad once after the Iron Bowl in the Montgomery market.
See the ad HERE:
Longtime Washington, D.C. and Alabama politico Mark Dawson is retiring after 25 year on Capitol Hill. Mark has worked with Congressman Robert Aderholt since joining his staff as a legislative assistant in 1997. He’s now Legislative Director and Senior Appropriations Advisor, a position he has held for more than 20 years. To be a part of the Alabama delegation is to know and respect Mark, and we at IAP wish him well in his retirement. A good time will be had by all at his Capitol Hill Club reception on Dec. 1.
Evans Brown has been hired as the Manager of Government Relations and Public Affairs at the Medical Association of Alabama. Evans previously worked at the Alabama Retired State Employees Association for several years before making the jump to MASA. All who know Evans understand he is an up and comer and part of the next generation of leaders in Alabama government and politics.
State Rep. Juandalynn Givan is being named President of NOBEL, the National Organization of Black Elected Women. She’ll become the second lawmaker from Alabama to receive the honor, following Rep. Laura Hall who was elected some years back. The official ceremony will take place next week at the National Black Caucus of State Legislatures in Atlanta.
Congrats to all!