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Mark Lester

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Mark Lester
Former candidate for
U.S. House, Alabama, District 6
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sRhodes College, 1973
Master'sHarvard University, 1975
J.D.University of Virginia School of Law, 1979
Ph.D.University of Oxford, 1991
ProfessionProfessor of History
Campaign website
Mark Lester campaign logo
Mark Lester was a 2014 Democratic candidate who sought election to the U.S. House to represent the 6th Congressional District of Alabama. Lester was nominated to replace Avery Vise on the ballot after Vise's withdrawal on August 6, 2014.[1] Mark Lester lost the general election on November 4, 2014.


Lester holds a B.A. from Rhodes College, an M.A. from Harvard University, a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and a Ph.D. in modern history from the University of Oxford. He has worked as a lawyer and assistant United States attorney in Little Rock, Arkansas. Lester has taught history at Birmingham Southern College since 1991.[2]


Campaign themes


Lester's campaign website listed the following issues:[3]

  • Budget and Income Inequality: "Americans must face up to our debt which is now trillions of dollars. We have not had a balanced budget since Bill Clinton was President. We must also face up to the growing income inequality which, if left unchecked, will eventually threaten our democratic system. Our budget needs to reflect our core values as a nation."
  • Education: "As a teacher, I know how education can change lives. It is the best investment an individual can make in his or her future. To be effective, education must start at an early age through programs like Head Start and the provision of free lunch programs (year round) so students will be able to do their best. We need to halt the squeeze on the middle class that is making it impossible for more and more parents to provide a higher education for their children."
  • Environment: "The science is unmistakable. Our planet is suffereing from climate change. Make no mistake about it, this development endangers our health and our national security. It threatens agricultural production, and we risk more floods and droughts. As good stewards of the planet with which we have been entrusted, we must address climate change by shifting to "21st Century energy" that is renewable and away from carbon-bearing fuels."
  • Foreign Policy: "America must continue its democratic leadership role in the world. We must prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. We should continue political, military, economic, diplomatic and other efforts against Al Qaeda and ISIS. Most importantly, while we want to be fair, we need to support the State of Israel, always remembering it is a nation that shares our values of liberty, pluralism, and the rule of law."
  • Gun Safety: "The Second Amendment guarantees a citizen's right to bear arms, and this right has been affirmed by the Supreme Court. This does not mean that there can be no discussion as to how guns may be safely used. Reasonable requirements that protect our safety, many of which are supported by law enforcement officials, such as vigorous background screenings to purchase guns (including people at gun shows), the sharing of firearm trace information, and the prohibition of assault rifles and extended magazines, should be considered."


—Mark Lester's campaign website,



See also: Alabama's 6th Congressional District elections, 2014

Lester ran in the 2014 election for the U.S. House to represent Alabama's 6th District. Lester replaced candidate Avery Vise after Vise withdrew from the race on August 16, 2014.[1] He was defeated by Gary Palmer (R) in the general election on November 4, 2014.[5]

U.S. House, Alabama District 6 General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngGary Palmer 76.2% 135,945
     Democratic Mark Lester 23.7% 42,291
     N/A Write-in 0.1% 213
Total Votes 178,449
Source: Alabama Secretary of State

Campaign donors


Candidates for Congress were required to file reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Lester's reports.

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