AL-GOV: What's Wrong With Davis and Sparks?

Leading Alabama Democrats are working feverishly to recruit a top-tier candidate to enter next year's governor's race. That wouldn't be especially noteworthy, ...
by | June 23, 2009

Leading Alabama Democrats are working feverishly to recruit a top-tier candidate to enter next year's governor's race. That wouldn't be especially noteworthy, except for one thing: The party already has two top candidates running.

The Associated Press has the details. Democrats have courted state Sen. Roger Bedford (who said no), Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb and Charles Price, a circuit court judge.

Bedford, Cobb and Price all might be good candidates, but on paper they don't appear any stronger than U.S. Rep. Artur Davis and State Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks. Sparks won reelection in 2006 with 59% of the vote, making him the top Democratic vote-getter that year. Davis is widely considered one of the smartest people in Alabama politics and he's clearly prepared diligently for this statewide run.

Maybe Democrats are looking for an alternative to Davis because they don't think an African-American can win statewide in Alabama. But, that wouldn't explain why they are recruiting Price, another African-American. Nor would that explain why they wouldn't simply support Sparks.

It's possible that party leaders are looking elsewhere because they know that both Davis and Sparks have deep, dark secrets that in time will render them fundamentally flawed candidates. But, it's also possible that party leaders are feeling intimidated because Davis and Sparks are strong candidates -- who aren't beholden to the party's leaders.

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman  |  Former Staff Writer
mailbox@governing.com  | 

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.

More from Politics