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Alabama Presidential primary is on Tuesday

Alabama Republican and Democratic voters both go to the polls on Tuesday to elect their party's nominees for the November 5 general election.

At the top of the Republican primary ballot is President of the United States. On the Republican side, former President Donald J. Trump (R) is seeking to wrap up the nomination with a big performance on Super Tuesday. Former Ambassador of the United Nations Nikki Haley is hoping to beat expectations – and a Haley win in Alabama would certainly do that as not even the Haley campaign seems to believe that is possible. Most of the other candidates appearing on the Tuesday GOP ballot have all dropped out and conceded the race.

Running for President on the Democratic side is President Joseph R. Biden. The 81-year-old is brushing off criticism that he is too old. He points to the success of Bidenomics and claims that he is defending democracy in his re-election bid. Similar to the Republican presidential primary race, Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Michigan) is the only other serious option still in the race, and uncommitted.

Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court on the Republican ballot has been the most expensive statewide race this election. Former State Senator Bryan Taylor and Associate Justice Sarah Stewart are battling for the open Chief Justice role.

Republican Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh is running for another term as President of the Public Service Commission (PSC). She is being challenged by Dadeville businessman Robert McCollum. McCollum last ran in 2022, when he challenged Chris "Chip" Beeker for PSC Commissioner.

In the Republican primary incumbent Chad Hanson faces challenger Stephen Davis Parker for the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals Place 2.

In the Republican primary Rich Anderson and Thomas Govan are running for the open Place 3 seat on the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals. Both work for the Alabama Attorney General's office.

The Congressional races are where the most money is being spent.

In the First Congressional District Two Republican Incumbent Congressmen are facing off in a loser go home battle. Redistricting means that Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) and Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) are in the same district. The two vote the same way over 90% of the time; but you would not know it based on the torrent of negative attack ads the two have unleased on each other.

11 Democrats including 4 members of the Alabama Legislature are seeking the Democratic nomination for Alabama's Second Congressional District. House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, Rep. Juandalynn Givan, State Sen. Merika Coleman, Rep. Jeremy Gray, Rep. Napoleon Bracy, businessman Vimal Patel, Willie Lenard, Larry Darnel Simpson, Phyllis Harvey Hall, James Averhart, and Shomari Figures are all on the Democratic primary ballot for CD2.

The Republican primary ballot for CD2 is not much less crowded. Attorney Hampton Harris, State Senator Greg Albritton, Attorney Caroleene Dobson, restaurateur Karla DuPriest, Stacey Shepperson, and former State Sen. Dick Brewbaker are all running for the GOP nomination. Former Bama and NFL football star Wallace Gilberry is still on the ballot but has dropped out of the race. Control of the U.S. House of Representatives could swing on how the voters in CD2 vote this November.

In the Third Congressional District, Republican incumbent Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Saks) is running for his twelfth term. Rogers chairs the powerful House Armed Services Committee. He is being challenged in the GOP primary by veteran Bryan Newell and farmer/homemaker Barron Rae Bevels.

In the Fourth Congressional District, Republican incumbent Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) is seeking his 15th term. If he is re-elected and the GOP somehow holds the House, Aderholt will likely be the chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. Aderholt faces a GOP challenger in businessman Justin Holcomb.

In the Sixth Congressional District, Republican incumbent Congressman Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) is seeking his sixth term in Congress. Palmer is being challenged by insurance broker Ken McFeeters and automotive businessman Garrick Wilkins.

In the Seventh Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Terri Sewell (D-Selma) is running for her eighth term in the House. Sewell, who is presently the number five member of the Democratic leadership, could be well positioned for advancement if the Democrat retake the House of Representatives. Sewell faces a rare Democratic primary challenge from Chris Davis.

On the Republican side career educator Robin Litaker is challenging Sewell in the general election; but she still has to wrap up the GOP nomination. Talk radio host Chris Horn has withdrawn from the CD7 race; but he is still on the primary ballot.

On the Republican ballot, four candidates are battling for the open Pace 3 seat on the State Board of Education. These are activist Ann Eubank, educator Susan Mooney, former State Rep. Charlotte Meadows, and Melissa Snowden.

On the Republican ballot, four candidates are battling for the open Place 7 seat on the State Board of Education. These are Doug Bachuss, Allen Long, and Oscar Mann.

Even though this is a primary election there is a proposed statewide constitutional amendment on the ballot for voters to consider.

"Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 2022, to amend Section 71.01 authorizing the Legislature to sign and transmit local laws or constitutional amendments before the transmission of basic appropriations. (Proposed by Act 2023-562)"

Currently the Constitution requires the Legislature to pass a budget isolation resolution (BIR) before passing any legislation if the budgets have not been passed. Passing state budgets is the primary constitutional responsibility of the Legislature – but they would rather pass their new bills; so the budgets typically get pushed off to the last week or two of the legislative session – 12 of a maximum 30 legislative days have already passed this session and neither House has passed either budget out of committee yet. A yes vote for amendment one would mean that they would not have to pass a BIR for local bills dealing with one county or one city. A no vote would mean that the legislature will have to continue to vote on a BIR before the budgets are passed.

There are also numerous local races for county commission, revenue commissioner, county school board, judicial seats, circuit clerks, and other offices as well as local constitutional amendments on primary ballots across the state. Some counties have no local candidates, and some have many depending on the party and the county. There are some staunchly Republican counties where the only races on the Democratic primary ballot are President of the United State, Democratic delegates to the national convention, and the proposed statewide constitutional amendment.

Polls will open at 7:00 am on Tuesday and close that evening at 7:00 pm. You must be registered at the polling place for which you are voting, and you must present a valid photo ID to participate in any Alabama election. Alabama does not have party registration thus you can vote in either party primary and, still vote in the November general election for the candidate of your choice. Alabama does not allow crossover voting – meaning that if you vote in the Democratic Party primary you cannot then vote in the April Republican primary runoff election or vice versa. This is particularly important for Congressional District two voters where it is highly likely that there will be runoff elections for CD2 on both the Republican and the Democratic sides.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email brandonmreporter@gmail.com

 

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