Some state races are wide open

Published 11:41 pm Wednesday, August 12, 2009

By Staff
Steve Flowers
Last week we handicapped the 2010 governor’s race. However, that will not be the only interesting race on the ballot in the upcoming election. We will have a smorgasbord buffet to choose from on the ballot next year. In addition to the governor’s race, we have all of the Constitutional offices up for grabs. All 140 legislative seats are on the ballot along with all 67 sheriffs. Richard Shelby’s Senate seat is up along with all seven of our congressional seats, one of which will be open due to Artur Davis’ departure to seek the governorship of the state.
The State Treasurer’s job is wide open. Kay Ivey cannot run again. Surprisingly no big name candidates have emerged at this time. Stephen Black, who ran against Ivey in 2002 and lost, would have been the frontrunner but he has decided not to seek the Treasurer’s post next year.
Richard Shelby plans to run for reelection to his fifth six-year term in 2010. He should receive only token opposition. He is considered unbeatable and he also has over $14 million in his campaign war chest.
The Republicans will make a concerted effort to come after freshman Congressman Bobby Bright in the Second District. Bright, a conservative Democrat, won this on paper Republican seat by a razor thin margin in 2008. It has to be a target by the National Republican Party. However, Bright will be tough to beat. He has voted straight down the line with the Republican Party and has campaigned throughout his district nonstop since his election.
You can rest assured that the Seventh Congressional District seat being vacated by Artur Davis will remain Democratic. This race will attract a bevy of strong candidates. The winner of the Democratic Primary will be the Congressman or should we say Congresswoman. My bet is that a female will capture this seat and be our first African American female congressperson. The three frontrunners thus far are all African American women. County Commissioner Sheila Smoot, Jefferson County State Senator Linda Coleman and Birmingham lawyer Terri Sowell, who is originally from Selma, are in the race along with Earl Hilliard Jr. whose father represented the district for ten years. The numbers in the district favor a candidate from Jefferson County.
See you next week.
Steve Flowers is Alabama’s leading political columnist. His column appears weekly in 75 Alabama newspapers. Steve served 16 years in the State Legislature. He may be contacted at

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