By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
In 2010, Alabama Republicans completely dominated the Democrats by winning supermajorities in both houses of the Alabama Legislature and every statewide race on the ballot. The GOP repeated that performance in 2014, and Democrat fortunes appeared to be at an all-time low.
This year, however, Alabama Democrats are more optimistic than they have been in a long time. Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore in the U.S. Senate special election, the first Democratic win in any statewide race since 2008. The Republican Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, has been convicted of felony ethics violations. The Republican House Majority Leader Mickey Hammon, R-Decatur, has pleaded guilty to felony campaign finance ethics violations. Republican Gov. Robert Bentley pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations and resigned the governorship in April 2017. In 2016, the Court of the Judiciary suspended the Republican Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. The momentum generated by the Jones campaign combined with Republican ethics issues have made Alabama Democrats much more optimistic entering 2018 than they were at this time in 2014.
Nowhere is this new optimism felt more strongly than in the 2018 gubernatorial race where a number of Democrats are organizing gubernatorial campaigns.
On Wednesday, the Alabama Secretary of State’s office posted 2017 end of year campaign finance filings on their website.
Tuscaloosa Mayor Walter “Walt” Maddox enters 2018 with a strong lead over his competitors in cash on hand. Maddox reported having $198,446 in cash on hand.
Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb reported that her campaign enters the new year with $146,381 in cash on hand.
Former state Rep. James Fields reported that his campaign only has $1,112 in cash on hand. Fields ran for lieutenant governor in 2014.
Anthony White reported non-monetary contributions of $2,850, but no monetary contributions and no cash on hand.
Chris Countryman and Jason Childs have not yet filed reports with the Secretary of State’s office.
The major party primaries will be on June 5, 2018. Major party qualifying opens on Tuesday, Jan. 9.
The Democratic candidates for governor have raised a total $619,132 in this race; but have already spent $273,192. The Republicans, on the other hand, have already raised $6,571,002 and have already spent $2,033,197 in this race; however, they will likely spend most of that battling each other in the GOP primary.