Alabama may be the locale of some interesting political races in 2020. The U.S. Senate is going to be a knock down, drag out race.
Republicans consider incumbent Democrat Doug Jones to be particularly vulnerable. And in the state’s 2nd Congressional district, the retirement of Montgomery Rep. Martha Roby will create an open seat. Or even the 1st District, where Mobile Rep. Bradley Byrne is running for the U.S. Senate.
Then there’s the March 2020 Place 1 Delegate race for the Republican National Convention in Charlotte in August where President Trump will almost certainly be nominated for another term.
A delegate seat? Yes, this contest is going to be down and dirty. In fact, the mud-slinging has already begun, even though the race is months off.
The candidates include Gov. Kay Ivey and state auditor Jim Zeigler. A third candidate so far, with the qualifying deadline still eight days off, is Anson Knowles, an accountant from the Huntsville area.
Knowles calls the other two candidates “Dixiecrats” — a Democrat who left the party rather than join the party’s civil rights stand.
He has also criticized Ivey for her support for a 10-cents-per-gallon gasoline tax, 6 cents of which went into affect this fall.
Zeigler also opposes Ivey’s proposal to switch the State Board of Education from an elected to an appointed board.
Zeigler’s wife, Jackie, is an elected member of the current BOE.
Cities head in different directions on 'annexation'
Two Alabama cities are headed in different directions on the issue of population management.
Mobile city officials are planning votes that could annex about 15,000 people into the city, bringing Mobile’s population to just over 200,000 and making it, once again, the state’s second largest city behind Birmingham (about 210,000).
Montgomery is second right now at about 199,000. Of course, looming on the side is Huntsville with about 194,500, but Huntsville is growing rapidly and is expected to be the largest city in the state within about a decade.
Auburn, by the way, is eighth largest at 63,973.
Anniston officials, meanwhile, are considering what some call “annexit,” splitting the city in half, largely along racial lines, cutting certain predominantly African-American citizens out of the city. Anniston has been losing population for some time and property values in some areas are tumbling.
I imagine the “annexit” plan will be subject to a great deal of discussion and litigation before it is enacted.
Retired Auburn Attorney Don Eddins is publisher of The Auburn Villager newspaper and the online publication, auburnvillager.com. Before going into law, he was state Capitol reporter for The Huntsville Times and state editor for The Columbus Ledger. In college, he was sports editor of The Auburn Plainsman. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.