Republicans likely looking at a run-off in Attorney General’s race

Alice Martin / Troy King / Steve Marshall
Alabama attorney general candidates, from left, Chess Bedsole, Troy King, incumbent Steve Marshall and Alice Martin wait to speak at a forum in Vestavia Hills, Ala. The four are vying for the Republican nomination in what's become one of the state's most headed contests of the 2018 primary season. [Photo Credit: AP Photo/Kim Chandler]

Early polls and pundits called the republican primary for the Attorney General’s race the most competitive. Now with over $5 million spent in a sometimes contentious race there’s no clear front runner a run-off looks inevitable.

Although the title of Attorney General might not seem like the most glamorous title in Alabama politics, the position is viewed by many as the second most important job in state government. “The powers given by the state constitution and the Legislature are significant,” Retired political science professor Jess Brown told “But the very nature of the office is that the occupant is the chief lawyer for this state and can, in fact, go represent state government even when they don’t want him to.”

Current Attorney General Steve Marshall is financially in the lead with $1.9 million in contributions. Chess Bedsole follows him with $1.7 million, former Alabama Attorney General Troy King has garnered $1.4 million and former state assistant attorney general and U.S. Attorney Alice Martin has obtained almost $1 million.

Bedsole’s funds came mostly from his own contributions to his campaign.

But Republican candidates will also face a somewhat formidable Democratic foe, in the November general election; former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman‘s son Joseph Siegelman has also thrown his hat in the race. And Chris Christie, no; not that Chris Chrisite has joined the race as well.

University of Alabama Political Science Department Chairman Dr. Joseph Smith thinks the democratic race might actually gain some traction, due to a decent turnout for a Democratic primary in Alabama. “because of the candidates at the top of the party’s ticket. Gubernatorial candidates Walt Maddox and Sue Bell Cobb are “quality candidates,” Smith told

The most important thing in winning the race, Smith believes; is name recognition. “Marshall certainly wins on incumbency, and I think he’s got the most advertising going on,” Smith continued. “You would think Troy King would have pretty good name recognition, since he was the former attorney general, but I don’t know if that has faded from people’s heads in the last few years.”

Marshall and Bedsole have tied themselves to President Donald Trump in their political ads, while Martin has chosen to emphasize the corruption issue while King has remained a fairly quiet candidate, Brown thinks he’s mostly betting on name recognition getting him into a runoff race.

The primaries will be held on Tuesday, June 5.