Alabama’s New 2nd Congressional District Will Have Primary Runoffs That Voters Will Decide

Alabama's New 2nd Congressional District Will Have Primary Runoffs That Voters Will Decide

MONTGOMERY, AL— People in Alabama will choose the party nominees for the 2nd Congressional District on Tuesday. This district was redrawn by a federal court to give Black people more voting power.

The matchup for the closely watched November race will depend on how the hotly fought runoffs turn out. The Deep South spot is up for grabs by Democrats, while Republicans will do everything they can to keep it in the GOP column. The race for control of the U.S. House of Representatives is close.

In October, a federal court redrawn the district because it said the previous congressional plan for the state, which only had one majority-Black district out of seven in a state that is about 27% Black, illegally took away Black residents’ right to vote. Mobile, the state capital, and the Black Belt make up the new district, which goes across the whole state.

The Democratic nominee is Shomari Figures, who used to be U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s deputy chief of staff and counselor. He is running against state Rep. Anthony Daniels, who is the floor leader of the state House. Dick Brewbaker, a former state senator, is running against Caroleene Dobson, a real estate lawyer who is new to politics, for the Republican ticket.

The district was rated as “likely Democrat” by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. This means that the district leans toward the Democratic candidate in November but isn’t a sure thing. If the race in November goes as planned, Alabama could have two Black representatives in Congress for the first time ever.

Even though there were 11 Democrats running for the ticket, Figures and Daniels, both black, got the most votes. This is something that both men have stressed: Figures in Washington and Daniels in Montgomery.

Figures is an attorney who has worked as an aide to former President Barack Obama as the domestic head of the Presidential Personnel Office and as a staff member for U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio in Congress. He is the son of Mississippi Sen. Vivian Davis Figures, who served for a long time, and the late Senate President Pro Tem Michael Figures. People who were running for Congress went back to Mobile from Washington, D.C.

Daniels was chosen to the Alabama Legislature in 2014. He used to teach and run a business. In 2017, he was elected as minority leader, making him the first Black man to take the position. His campaign has stressed that he grew up in the district and has worked on legislative problems for the whole state, even though he lives in Huntsville, which is not in the 2nd District.

In the first round of voting, Figures got the most votes, with 43% of the vote. Daniels came in second with about 22%.

There will be runoffs in both races because no one got more than 50% of the vote in the March 5 primary.

In the March primary, 37% of the vote went to Brewbaker, while only 24.76% went to Dobson.

Dobson grew up in Monroe County and lived and worked as a lawyer in Texas. In 2019, he moved back to Alabama and started working at the Maynard Nexsen law company. She’s on the Alabama Forestry Commission.

He was a businessman and owned a car shop in Montgomery. Brewbaker was in the Alabama House for one term and the Alabama Senate for two terms. In 2018, he didn’t run for office again.

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