GOP to challenge Dems

Published 3:19 pm Wednesday, January 6, 2010

By Staff
The governor’s race and other constitutional offices are not the only posts up for grabs this year. We will have a smorgasbord buffet to choose from on the ballot. All 67 sheriffs are up for election, as well as all 140 legislative seats. We also have three seats on the Supreme Court on the menu.
All three of these Supreme Court seats are held by Republicans. In fact, eight of the nine justices are Republicans. Two of the justices, Tom Parker and Mike Bolin, are seeking reelection. The third seat will be open. Republican Justice Patti Smith, who was elected six years ago, has chosen not to seek a second term. It will be a classic battle between business and plaintiff trial lawyers.
The primary focus of both political parties and special interest groups will be the state legislative races. The GOP hopes to take control of one, if not both, chambers. The House currently has 61 Democrats and 44 Republicans. If only nine seats change hands, the GOP captures the majority. The House members they are targeting to knock off are Henry White of Athens, Ron Grantland of Hartselle, James Fields of Hanceville, Jeff McLaughlin of Guntersville, Jimmy Martin of Clanton, Steve Hurst of Munford, Terry Spicer of Elba and Betty Carol Graham of Alexander City.
In addition, several House members are seeking to move up to the Senate. Locy Baker and Billy Beasley are running for the seat of retiring state Sen. Myron Penn. These two House seats should remain Democratic as will the Senate seat. Two GOP legislators, Cam Ward and Gerald Allen, are also leaving their House seats to run for the Senate. These seats should remain Republican. Therefore, the House takeover is possible.
The Senate could wind up close also. The GOP supposedly has raised a lot of money to try to takeover the Senate. The seats they have targeted are Zeb Little of Cullman, Ted Little of Auburn, Hinton Mitchem of Albertville, Phil Poole of Moundville, Marc Keahey of Grove Hill and Kim Benefield of Roanoke.

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