Alabama: GOP Leaders Again Take Sides in a Runoff

Posted June 24, 2008 at 6:51pm

Three weeks out from a GOP primary runoff in a district that Republican leaders view as a key pickup opportunity, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.) signaled his personal preference in the race by dropping a $5,000 check from his political action committee on commercial insurance broker Wayne Parker on Tuesday.

Parker was in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday meeting with various party leaders, NRCC officials and interest groups as he prepares for his July 15 runoff in the Huntsville-based 5th district. He’s facing Huntsville attorney Cheryl Baswell Guthrie (R) for the right to take on state Sen. Parker Griffith (D) in the race to replace retiring Rep. Bud Cramer (D).

Parker also received a $5,000 check from Chief Deputy Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and had a meeting with House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) while he was on the Hill.

Although the NRCC is officially neutral in both races, Cole and several other top GOP officials (including Boehner) have already indicated who their preferred candidate is in Alabama’s other Republican runoff race. They are holding a fundraiser today for state Rep. Jay Love, who is taking on state Sen. Harri Anne Smith in the southeast Alabama 2nd district.