BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Alabama’s primary ballot features multiple offices and something voters in the Republican-controlled state haven’t seen in years: Democratic races for statewide and congressional positions.
Alabama Democrats have 27 total candidates running for state positions or Congress this year, more than double the 13 from 2014. That means there are several Democratic primary races, compared to just one for a statewide office four years ago.
Many of the eventual Republican nominees will still run unopposed in the General Election because no Democrats qualified. But with Democratic opposition to President Donald Trump running high and after Democrat Doug Jones’ victory in Alabama’s U.S. Senate in December, the once-powerful party is trying to show signs of life.
Aside from the governor’s campaign, in which five Republicans and six Democrats are vying for their party’s nominations, here are some other races to watch:
Republican appointee Steve Marshall is facing voters for the first time in a statewide race as he seeks election to the office of attorney general, and it might not be easy.
Marshall, a former Marshall County district attorney, has served in the job since February 2017, when then-Gov. Robert Bentley tapped him after naming Luther Strange to the U.S. Senate. Marshall is being opposed in the GOP primary by Alice Martin, a former federal prosecutor who was the state’s chief deputy attorney general; Troy King, a former state attorney general and Birmingham lawyer Chess Bedsole.
Birmingham attorneys Joseph Siegelman and Chris Christie are vying for the Democratic nomination. Siegelman is the son of former Gov. Don Siegelman....The attorney general is responsible for representing the state in criminal and civil matters, and the office often is a stepping-stone to other positions. Just ask U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a former Alabama attorney general.___CONGRESSRep. Martha Roby’s bid to hold on to her District 2 seat from the Wiregrass region of southeastern Alabama for a fifth term highlights the state’s congressional primaries.The House Appropriations Committee member is being opposed by candidates including Bobby Bright, who Roby defeated to claim the seat in 2010. Other opponents include Rich Hobson of Enterprise, who managed Roy Moore’s unsuccessful Senate campaign last year.Roby gained Republican critics after distancing herself from Presidential Donald Trump’s vulgar comments about women in 2016.The eventual GOP nominee will face either education researcher Tabitha Isner of Montgomery or activist and military veteran Audri Scott Williams of Cottonwood. They’re competing for the Democratic nomination in the Republican-dominated district.Reps. Mo Brooks of Huntsville and Robert Aderholt of Haleyville also have challengers in the GOP primary, and Democrats have primaries in four districts in all. There was just one Democratic congressional primary in 2014.___LIEUTENANT GOVERNORAlabama has been without a lieutenant governor for more than a year, and the primary is a first step toward filling the office.Alabama Public Service Commission president Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh is running in the Republican primary against two state legislators: Rep. Will Ainsworth of