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Alabama Democrats Face Crowded Primary in Race for Governor

For months, Alabama Democrats wondered what was up with the governor's race in 2014. For most of 2013, it appeared that not only would there not be a strong candidate to challenge our doctor Governor, but the party might not be able to field any candidate whatsoever. Lay that worry aside, as Democrats may end the week (qualifying closes Friday) with not one, but three candidates in the primary - a young, relatively unknown business owner, a respected State Senator, and party flip-flopper Parker Griffith.

Kevin Bass, a 34 yr old business owner, jumped into the race last December. It is his first run for governor; he previoiusly ran uncessfully for mayor of Fayette:

"This is my motto: Who are you to complain unless you're willing to do something about it yourself?" Bass said.

For months, speculation swirled around State Senator and pharmacist Billy Beasley. He asked for feedback about a run on his personal Facebook page, and supporters used their social media contacts to encourage friends to contact Beasley. The Senator remained coy, though, noting that IF he runs, he would focus on Medicaid expansion, a state lottery, repealing the Alabama Accountability Act, and trying to repair some of the damage that the GOP supermajority has done to the state.

Beasley has a good record as Senator. He fought against Beason's HB-56 immigration bill in 2011 and sponsored a bill to repeal it last session. Last year, he was one of the few white legislators and the only male legislator to speak to pro-choice supporters at the rally to oppose SB12, the notorious vaginal ultrasound bill.

Even Republicans see his appeal and take his candidacy seriously.

The third candidate – former Congressman, former Democrat, former Republican, former Independent, and now Democrat again – Parker Griffith, has apparently been inspired by Groundhog Day: he's back. Huntsville station WHNT-TV reported last night he is seriously considering a run for Governor on the Democratic ticket.

The announcement caused a lot of Democrats who saw their own shadows to run inside, taking to social media to vent:

  • "He could make movie called: Dr.Parker and Mr. Hyde, and Mr. Hyde, and Mr. Hyde and Mr. Hyde." 
  • "This guy seems to run for everything except the 100 yard dash in the Olympics! First he's a Democrat, then turns Republican, then turns Independent, now back to Democrat. He should start the "Chameleon Party" he changes color to whatever suits him at the time."
  • "...people may not understand this what can only be a "strategic" move because we remember, betrayal. People do not understand the "politics" of campaigns, but they know he personally has walked on us before.  I hope we get a valid qualified, loyal candidate to support.

In 2010, many bragged about "crossing over" to vote AGAINST Griffith in the GOP primary. This left many good progressive Democratic candidates high and dry because their biggest base of supporters voted in the other party's primary. 

So, if Griffith does jump into the race - and certainly his ego is large enough that anything is possible - then those same crossover voters can head back over to the Democratic primary.

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