Alabama Democrats aren’t conceding defeat in the race for one of the strongest Republican House districts in the country.Now I'd love for the Alabama 1st Congressional District to turn into Democrats' favor in the special election but it's not going to be a close race by a longshot compared to the South Carolina 1st Congressional District special election that gave Mark Sanford just a few percentage points in vote advantage over Elizabeth Colbert-Busch.
Nancy Worley, newly elected chairwoman of the Alabama Democratic Party, said she expects to field a competitive candidate in the special election for Alabama’s 1st Congressional District.
The seat is being vacated by U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Mobile, who announced May 23 his intention to resign effective Aug. 15. Bonner, who’s represented the district since 2003, is leaving for a position as vice chancellor at the University of Alabama System in Tuscaloosa.
Worley said Democrats will attempt to flip a seat held by Republicans since 1965, when Jack Edwards captured it for the GOP.
“Certainly it’s winnable,” Worley said. “Special elections can and often do create unexpected outcomes. We’ve seen that in Alabama and elsewhere in the country.”
National experts said the red district - which stretches from the beaches of south Baldwin and Mobile counties to the timberland of rural Clarke, Escambia, Monroe and Washington counties - isn’t likely to turn blue anytime soon.Also, Jo Bonner didn't have an opponent in the last two elections (actually, the article writer should say three elections since there was no Democratic challenger in 2008 as well)
The Cook Political Report categorizes the district as “solid Republican” – its strongest partisan ranking – and said Democrats aren’t likely to be competitive.
Bonner, first elected in 2002, didn’t have a Democratic opponent in his last two elections in 2012 and 2010. Republican Mitt Romney captured 61 percent of the vote in the district against President Barack Obama in November.To make matters worse, Worley just recently said the Alabama Democratic Party is broke. Not something you'd want to admit while giving the assessment that the AL-01 Special Election race is winnable for the Democrats.
MONTGOMERY, Alabama – Acting state Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy Worley lowered her head and slowly shook it side to side when summing up the financial condition of her once powerful party.
"We're broke, broke, broke," Worley told the party's Executive Board in a special called meeting Friday.
How broke is broke? Worley didn't sugar coat the answer.
"This is my 18th day as chair and thirty minutes after I took over on April 22nd the landlord of the building where our party headquarters are came in and said he wanted us out, that the rent was overdue and was always overdue," said Worley.
However, it appears there is mention of some names of potential Democratic candidates:
Worley said she’s heard from at least four viable Democratic candidates, including state Sen. Marc Keahey, D-Grove Hill; state Rep. Napoleon Bracy, D-Prichard, Gulf Shores restaurant owner Lucy Buffett and Burton LeFlore, who made an unsuccessful bid as an independent for the Alabama House District 97 seat this year.And get this: In one of the reddest states in the U.S., State Rep. Napolean Bracy is forming an exploratory campaign. Seriously, why? Just say you're in the race and that's it!
“All four of those are certainly well recognized names as Democrats in south Alabama,” said Worley, a former Alabama Secretary of State.
National Democratic Party officials have named U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, a Daphne native, as a top target to run for the seat.
Worley said she had not spoken to Benjamin or anyone representing her about a potential campaign. Benjamin did not respond to a request for comment from AL.com this week.
Keahey described the race as “an interesting opportunity.”
“I love the competition of a campaign, and Congress campaigns all the time with elections every two years,” Keahey said.
Bracy said he was developing an exploratory committee to consider the possibility of running for the seat. LeFlore, the grandson of Alabama civil rights leader John LeFlore, could not be reached for comment Friday.Well, if Nancy Worley and others are getting fired up in Alabama, oh heck, it wouldn't hurt if we just go ahead and support them. Yes, the AL-01 district is deep red like lots of regions in Alabama but you might as well start somewhere!
If you guys are interested in helping Worley and the Democrats out in the state, here's the contact information:
Alabama Democratic Party Website: http://www.aldemocrats.org/
Phone: (334) 262-2221
Fax: (334) 262-6474
Address: 501 Adams Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104