A rundown of state legislative races to watch on Election Day


Election Day is almost upon us, with a number of Alabama Senate and House races hanging in the balance.

Several incumbents are in threatened seats, but precisely which ones in trouble are open to debate. Republican leaders have their theories, while Democrats are a little less forthcoming on their opinions.

After talking with both GOP and Democratic state leaders, Jim Stinson of AL.com began to see a pattern emerge of which races both parties will carefully watch as results come in on Tuesday.

It’s not as if the GOP majority in the House and Senate is in any danger.

Republican House Speaker Mike Hubbard tells Stinson that the “supermajority” of GOP lawmakers since 2010 will remain.

Nevertheless, Alabama Democrats, with the powerful Alabama Education Association, is looking to chip away at the GOP supermajority.

Alabama Democratic chair Nancy Worley, believes there are some “very close races” on the Party radar. Turnout will certainly help Democrats in those races.

One issue for Democrats is Hubbard’s Oct. 20 indictment, which he calls a “political witch hunt.”

In a statement on Friday, Hubbard said the GOP will be aggressively pursuing the supermajorities on Tuesday, connecting the Alabama Democrats to the policies of President Barack Obama. Some groups are starting to run ads against the GOP, with hidden connections to liberal third-party groups.

Races to watch on Tuesday include:

Democratic targets:

  • House District 7, where Republican state Rep. Ken Johnson faces Democratic former state Rep. Jody Letson, in the district that covers Lawrence and Winston counties.
  • House District 89, where Republican state Rep. Alan C. Boothe once again faces Democrat Joel Williams, for the region covering parts of Dale and Pike counties. Boothe, a Democrat at the time, beat Williams in the 1998 primary.

GOP targets:

  • House District 16, where Democratic state Rep. Daniel Boman faces Republican Kyle South in the seat covering parts of Fayette, Lamar and Tuscaloosa counties. In 2011, Boman switched parties.
  • House District 23, withState Rep. John Robinson facing Republican James Hanes Jr. in the district covering Jackson County.
  • Senate District 1, covering parts of Colbert and Lauderdale counties currently held by the retiring Democratic state Tammy Irons. Democrat Mike Curtis and Republican Tim Melson are facing off.
  • Senate District 22, covering parts of Baldwin, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Escambia, Mobile, Monroe, and Washington counties, held by Democratic state Sen. Mark Keahey, who is retiring. Facing off there are Democrat Susan Smith and Republican Greg Albritton.

Hubbard acknowledged TV ads and mailers are out in Lee County District 79 blasting his opponent, Democrat Shirley Scott-Harris.

Democrats are focusing on Senate president pro tempore Del Marsh in District 12, which covers Calhoun, Clay and Talladega Counties. Democrat Taylor Stewart is on the ballot there.