Alabama: Democrat’s Fundraising Could Still Be Brighter

Posted April 15, 2008 at 6:44pm

Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright (D) raised $54,500 in a little more than a month after announcing in late February that he would seek the open 2nd district seat being vacated by GOP Rep. Terry Everett, according to his first quarter Federal Election Commission report.

Although there was speculation over the winter that he might enter the race as a Republican, Bright is running as a conservative Democrat, and party leaders are hopeful that the popular mayor will be able to flip the usually reliably Republican southeast Alabama 2nd district seat.

After opening his committee on Feb. 26, Bright ended the quarter with a little more than $46,000 in cash on hand.

Of the announced Republican candidates, state Sen. Harri Anne Smith and state Rep. Jay Love appear to be the leading contenders. Both jumped into the race after Everett’s September retirement announcement and were fundraising throughout the entire quarter.

Smith raised $251,000 in the first quarter and ended March 31 with $139,000 in cash on hand. Love raised $64,000 this quarter according to his FEC report. But Love, who was successful restaurant owner before he won election to the Alabama House in 2002, also loaned $300,000 to his campaign at the end of 2007, and he ended the quarter with $277,000 in cash on hand.

Candidates Raising Fast Cash in Cramer’s District

Prior to announcing his candidacy on April 3, advertising executive Wayne Parker (R) had been fundraising for about a week for his run at the open 5th district seat being vacated by Rep. Bud Cramer (D). In that time Parker raised $177,000, according to his first-quarter Federal Election Commission Report.

Though Parker was a two-time nominee against Cramer in the 1990s, Republicans are excited at the prospect of his candidacy in an open-seat race. The 5th is a district where the GOP has routinely dominated Democrats in presidential elections. In 2004, President Bush took 60 percent of the vote there as Cramer was winning re-election with 73 percent.

Parker’s top Democratic rival in the open seat race appears to be state Sen. Parker Griffith. After announcing on March 21, Griffith raised $115,000 and reported $112,000 in cash on hand at the end of the quarter.

— John McArdle