Legislative Lowdown: Identifying competitive Alabama elections in 2014

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April 4, 2014

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2014 Alabama Legislative Lowdown

Table of Contents
Majority control
Margin of victory
Competitiveness

Other 2014 Election coverage
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State legislaturesU.S. HouseU.S. Senate

By Ballotpedia's State legislative team

A total of 28 Republican incumbents will face primary competition in 2014, with a long-standing Democratic-leaning group called the Alabama Education Association (AEA) planning to spend millions of dollars in these primaries. The AEA, whose main goal appears to be diminishing the Republican supermajority established in the 2010 elections, has recruited candidates to run against Republican incumbents (in both primaries and general elections) and for open seats in a number of districts. The AEA is also rumored to be spending about $500,000 against the Republican leaders of each chamber: Del Marsh in the Senate and Mike Hubbard in the House. Both have served for four terms and are facing primary competition for the first time in many election cycles. Marsh has not faced primary competition since winning election in 1998, while Hubbard last faced an opponent in a Republican primary in 2006. In addition to their primary challenges, both incumbents will face a Democratic opponent in the general election. Marsh defeated a Democratic opponent in 2010, while Hubbard last defeated a member of the Democratic party in 2006. Eight other incumbents who have served four terms or more face primary opposition, with five of them serving at least 25 years in the legislature.[1][2]

February 7 was the signature filing deadline for candidates wishing to run for Alabama State Senate and Alabama House of Representatives. Elections in 35 Senate districts and 35 House districts will consist of a primary election on June 3, 2014, and a general election on November 4, 2014.

See also: 2014's state legislative elections, Alabama State Senate elections and Alabama House of Representatives elections

Majority control

Heading into the November 4 election, the Republican Party holds a supermajority in both state legislative chambers. Alabama's office of Governor is held by Robert J. Bentley (R), making the state one of 23 with a Republican state government trifecta.

The difference in partisan composition between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate is 12 seats, or 34.3 percent of the seats up for election in 2014. There are 17 districts where two major party candidates will appear on the general election ballot.[3]

Alabama State Senate
Party As of November 3, 2014 After November 4, 2014
     Democratic Party 11 8
     Republican Party 23 26
     Independent 1 1
Total 35 35

Alabama State Senate, State legislative elections results, 2014</noinclude>

The difference in partisan composition between Democrats and Republicans in the House is 29 seats, or 27.6 percent of the seats up for election in 2014. There are 41 districts where two major party candidates will appear on the general election ballot.[4]

Alabama House of Representatives
Party As of November 3, 2014 After November 4, 2014
     Democratic Party 37 33
     Republican Party 66 72
     Independent 1 0
     Vacancy 1 0
Total 105 105
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Competitiveness

Using the official candidate lists from each state, Ballotpedia staff analyzes each district's election to look at the following circumstances:

  • Is the incumbent running for re-election?
  • If an incumbent is running, do they face a primary challenger?
  • Are both major parties represented on the general election ballot?

In Alabama's 2014 elections, those circumstances break down as follows:[5]

  • There are 21 open seats (15.0%) in the two chambers.
  • A total of 41 incumbents (34.5%) face a primary challenger.
  • 58 districts (41.4%) will feature a Democratic and Republican candidate on the general election ballot.

The following table puts the 2014 data into historical context. Overall index is calculated as the average of the three circumstances.

Comparing Alabama Competitiveness over the Years
Year  % Incs retiring  % incs rank  % Incs facing primary  % Incs primary rank  % seats with 2 MPC  % seats with 2 MPC rank Overall Index Overall Index Rank
2010 14.3% 21 28.3% 9 57.1% 41 33.2 22
2014 15.0% Pending 34.5% Pending 41.4% Pending 30.3 Pending

Senate

The following table details competitiveness in the Alabama State Senate.

Alabama Senate Competitiveness
 % Incs retiring  % Incs facing primary  % seats with 2 MPC Overall Index
11.4% 31.4% 48.6% 30.5

Candidates unopposed by a major party

In 18 of the 35 districts up for election in 2014, there is only one major party candidate running for election. A total of seven Democrats and eleven Republicans are guaranteed election in November barring unforeseen circumstances.

Two major party candidates will face off in the general election in 17 of the 35 districts up for election.

Primary challenges

A total of eleven incumbents will face primary competition on June 3. Four incumbents are not seeking re-election in 2014 and another 20 incumbents will advance past the primary without opposition. The state senators facing primary competition include:

Retiring incumbents

Four incumbent senators, one Democrat and three Republicans, are not running for re-election, while 31 (88.6%) are running for re-election. Those retiring incumbents are:

Name Party Current Office
Tammy Irons Electiondot.png Democratic Senate District 1
Shadrack McGill Ends.png Republican Senate District 8
Scott Beason Ends.png Republican Senate District 17
Bryan Taylor Ends.png Republican Senate District 30

House

The following table details competitiveness in the Alabama House of Representatives.

Alabama House Competitiveness
 % Incs retiring  % Incs facing primary  % seats with 2 MPC Overall Index
16.2% 28.6% 39.0% 27.9

Candidates unopposed by a major party

In 64 of the 105 districts up for election in 2014, there is only one major party candidate running for election. A total of 18 Democrats and 46 Republicans are guaranteed election in November barring unforeseen circumstances.

Two major party candidates will face off in the general election in 41 of the 105 districts up for election.

Primary challenges

A total of 30 incumbents will face primary competition on June 3. 17 incumbents are not seeking re-election in 2014 and another 58 incumbents will advance past the primary without opposition. The state representatives facing primary competition include:

Retiring incumbents

17 incumbent representatives, five Democrats, eleven Republicans and one Independent, are not running for re-election, while 88 (83.8%) are running for re-election. Those retiring incumbents are:

Name Party Current Office
Todd Greeson Ends.png Republican House District 24
Wes Long Ends.png Republican House District 27
Richard Laird Grey.png Nonpartisan House District 37
DuWayne Bridges Ends.png Republican House District 38
Mary Sue McClurkin Ends.png Republican House District 43
Arthur Payne Ends.png Republican House District 44
Paul DeMarco Ends.png Republican House District 46
Jim McClendon Ends.png Republican House District 50
Anthony "Alann" Johnson Electiondot.png Democratic House District 53
John Merrill Ends.png Republican House District 62
David Colston Electiondot.png Democratic House District 69
Joseph Lister Hubbard Electiondot.png Democratic House District 73
Greg Wren Ends.png Republican House District 75
James Buskey Electiondot.png Democratic House District 99
Jamie Ison Ends.png Republican House District 101
Chad Fincher Ends.png Republican House District 102
Joseph C. Mitchell Electiondot.png Democratic House District 103

See also

External links

References