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Republican Brewbaker, Democrat Harvey-Hall join AL-2 race

Former state senator and prominent Montgomery businessman Dick Brewbaker is joining the race for Congress in Alabama’s new District 2.

“When I see what is happening to this country and what is happening in Congress, it is truly unbelievable, there is a massive disconnect with what is happening there and what is happening in the lives of everyday Americans,” Brewbaker, a Republican, said.

Qualifying for the 2024 contest ends Friday and Brewbaker is at least the third Republican to announce his candidacy. At least five Democrats have qualified or said they’ll run, including Phyllis Harvey-Hall, who qualified on Tuesday.

Harvey-Hall, a small business owner, has previously run against current seat holder Rep. Barry Moore in 2020 and 2022. In 2022, she received 29.1% of the vote.

“I’m stepping into this race once again, ready to confront the challenges head-on,” Harvey-Hall said on X Tuesday. “I humbly ask for your continued support as we embark on this journey.”

The District 2 seat is open because Moore, R-Enterprise, no longer lives in it after court-ordered redistricting significantly changed its boundaries and increased the Black voter population to nearly 49%.

District 2 now includes all of Montgomery, Macon, Russell, Barbour, Pike, Butler, Conecuh, Monroe and Washington Counties, southern Clarke County and northwest and central Mobile County.

Brewbaker served in the Alabama Senate for two terms until 2018 and recently sold his family owned auto dealership.

“I am a lifelong resident of this district. People who know me know that I will always stand up for what is right and never allow myself to get caught up in Washington’s games and political theatre,” he said.

In the state Senate, Brewbaker wasn’t always in agreement with his GOP colleagues. He resigned from the Republican caucus in 2016 after leadership filed a cloture petition on Republicans during a debate on a lottery and gambling bill and forced a vote on it.

“To see a Republican sponsor it and the Republican leadership pulling out all the stops to force a vote on it, I feel like I fell down a rabbit hole,” Brewbaker at the time. “When you feel that way, it’s probably time to go.”

Brewbaker is also a former educator and was chairmanship of the Senate Education Policy Committee.

Brewbaker is expected to face in the March 5 GOP primary his former state Senate colleague Greg Albritton of Atmore and Montgomery attorney Caroleene Dobson. Other announced Democrats include state lawmakers Sen. Kirk Hatcher of Montgomery, Napoleon Bracy of Mobile and Jeremy Gray of Opelika. Democrat Willie J. Lenard also qualified last week.

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