Alabama: Tuesday Runoffs Will Set Fields in House Races

Posted July 12, 2010 at 6:14pm

Voters head back to the polls Tuesday to decide the winners of primaries in the 2nd and 7th districts.

In the battleground 2nd district, Montgomery City Councilwoman Martha Roby, a highly touted GOP recruit this cycle, fell just short of securing her party’s nomination in the June 1 primary.

She outspent Rick Barber 5 to 1, but since then Barber has sought to consolidate the support of tea party activists and paint Roby as the choice of national party leaders rather than 2nd district Republicans. Roby will continue to be favored Tuesday, but Barber is hoping his grass-roots campaign can pull off an upset against the party machine.

The winner will face freshman Rep. Bobby Bright (D) in November.
Farther west in the 7th district, both parties are facing runoffs, but the Democrats will be deciding who is likely to make history as the state’s first black Congresswoman.

Since taking first place in the primary by 8 points, attorney Terri Sewell has released polling that has showed she’s been pulling further away from Jefferson County Commissioner Shelia Smoot.

Sewell has run an aggressive media campaign fueled by strong fundraising. As of June 23, Sewell had spent more than $1 million on her campaign to Smoot’s $133,000.

The winner of the primary in this heavily Democratic district should cruise to victory in the November general election.