BY: ART PARKER
There has been little movement to the political winds in quite some time due to the upcoming GOP runoff for U.S. Senate, which will be next Tuesday, September 26. Once that is behind us I believe you will see sails pop up on the water and the small breeze we now feel will turn into the gradual building of a storm that should make landfall next June.
In between that time we will go to the polls and decide between either sitting senator Luther Strange or Roy Moore to become the GOP nominee. That party’s nominee will face Democrat Doug Jones in December and the winner will claim the seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, who was appointed U.S. Attorney General.
For what it’s worth, I’ve never been a fan of Roy Moore. On the other hand I wouldn’t trust Luther Strange as far as I can throw an overweight sumo wrestler. I’m voting for Moore next Tuesday and encourage you to do the same.
Moving past the calm before the storm, several races will see potential candidates enter and exit before qualification is over next year. It’s hard to tell what will happen but the biggest prize, other than U.S. Senator, is the race for the Governor’s mansion.
Governor Kay Ivey has entered the race and she automatically is the front runner. I think after the GOP Senate runoff is done she will come out swinging since she has shown little fight thus far. It is hard to imagine that she wouldn’t since she has raised over a million bucks before declaring herself a candidate. At this stage of the game she is far ahead of others that have declared their intentions.
We knew this was coming. The first sign was Twinkle Cavanaugh retreating from the Governor’s race and moving into the Lt. Governor’s contest. Cavanaugh is a soldier of Bob Riley. Shortly after taking office Ivey made a few moves that convinced me that Riley had a new set of keys to Governor’s mansion. The instant it looked like Ivey may run then Cavanaugh ran from the yard like a scalded dog. That told me plenty.
Supposedly Agriculture Commissioner and Industries John McMillan has been rumored to be out of the race. I was told late last week that wasn’t true. I was also led to believe that Ivey’s staff was circulating that rumor. Over the weekend I heard from other sources that McMillan was definitely out and looking at other options. The speculation on McMillian should end soon. Other than McMillan certain candidates that are noteworthy are Tommy Battle, Mayor of Huntsville and Bill Hightower, State Senator.
I believe Battle to be a potentially formidable candidate and he has done well on raising money thus far. There is another way to say this. If Ivey falters in the campaign I believe Battle can become the GOP frontrunner.
Right now, it looks like Ivey holds the best cards and is the dealer.
Candidates for Lt. Governor there are Mary Scott Hunter, State Sen. Rusty Glover, State Rep. Will Ainsworth and Cavanaugh, Alabama Public Service Commission Chairwoman.
I can’t help but believe that this will get down to Ainsworth and Cavanaugh and if it does, I will be pulling for Ainsworth because of Cavanaugh’s connections. I also believe you will see Ainsworth as an effective fund raiser.
While there are more races out there with an undetermined field it appears like the last biggie will be for Attorney General. Current Attorney General Steve Marshall is in the race and should be facing former U.S. Attorney Alice Martin in a finale. But there is a wild card in the deck and that is former Attorney General Troy King. I think King can win if he gets in because the others have little name recognition. Over the weekend there was a strong rumor that King was lining up huge campaign contributions.
So hang on. Before too long the political winds will be blowing much harder.