The four Republicans looking to succeed Bachus, above, are in a primary flush with cash.
DeMarco has the advantage of a geographic base in his state House district, where he has proved to be an adept fundraiser, Alabama Republicans said. Palmer has ties to the social conservative base in Alabama, having launched the Alabama Policy Institute, a think tank with headquarters in the district.
Republicans say the real wildcard in the race is Mathis, a doctor who has positioned himself as the tea party candidate. The question, Republican strategists say, is whether Mathis can appeal to the kind of Republican located in this Birmingham-based district.
“This district is PTA, country club Republicans — not we-need-to-defund-Obamacare Republicans,” one unaffiliated Republican said. “That’s the No. 1 question in that district: Does a tea-party-type candidate play in that district?”
While the candidates released their quarterly numbers before the Jan. 31 deadline, not all have filed their official reports with the Federal Election Commission. Without seeing the reports, it’s unclear where each candidates’ funds came from, how much was from donors within the district and how much they had left in their respective war chests at the end of the year.
The 6th District primary takes place June 3. If no candidate receives more than a majority of the vote, a runoff will take place July 15.
An earlier version of this article misstated the threshold needed to avoid a runoff in Alabama. More than a majority of the vote is needed.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.