Prepping for Tuesday’s primaryPublished 1:07am Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Believe it or not, we are less than one week away from the 2014 Primary Elections. The Republican and Democratic primaries are next Tuesday. The turnout may be historically low. The reason is simple. There are no good statewide races on the ballot.
Gov. Robert Bentley is essentially running unopposed. The same is true for Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan, State Treasurer Young Boozer and Attorney General Luther Strange. Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey has a viable opponent, but Stan Cooke is running a grassroots campaign with no money in a race for an office where there are no issues, only name identification.
Former Huntsville State Senator and Congressman Parker Griffith should garner the Democratic nomination for governor. However, he will face long odds against a very popular incumbent in the fall.
The Secretary of State contest has drawn three quality opponents seeking this open position. Crenshaw County Probate Judge Jim Perdue, former Montgomery County Probate Judge Reese McKinney and Tuscaloosa State Rep. John Merrill are vying for the GOP nomination. This one will more than likely be decided in the July 15 runoff.
Merrill should lead the ticket. He has run a very formidable initial statewide race. He started two years ago and has never stopped. He picked up the endorsements of most of the business groups and raised a lot of money for this obscure office. His television ads are the best seen in the state in quite a while.
There will be pockets of moderate turnout around the state due to hotly contested local races. The best race will be for the open 6th District Congressional seat in suburban Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair and Blount Counties.
There are also several good state Senate races to watch. The Senate seat in St. Clair and Talladega Counties was expected to be very close. However, private polling indicates that Dr. Jim McLendon may beat incumbent Jerry Fielding by as much as 60/40.
AEA gave Garreth Moore $350,000 to run against popular incumbent Jimmy Holley in the South Alabama seat made up of Coffee, Covington, Dale and Pike Counties. Polls reveal Holley will win by 60/40 or more.
Incumbent Democrat Mark Keahey dropped out of the Southwest Alabama Senate seat 22. There are a handful of GOP aspirants. Either Greg Albriton, Danny Joyner or Stephen Sexton is favored to prevail. This will be a pickup for the GOP in the State Senate.
A lot of folks also will be following Speaker Mike Hubbard’s reelection contest. There has been a lot of money spent on both sides. Challenger Sandy Toomer is expected to make this race interesting.