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For First Time in History, Democrats Won’t Run Anyone for U.S. Senate in Alabama

Alabama holds an election for U.S. Senate in 2014. Republican Senator Jeff Sessions is running for re-election. For the first time in Alabama history, the Democrats are not running anyone for U.S. Senate. Here is a list of Democrats running in the June 2014 primary for federal and state office.

There are no Democrats running for U.S. House in the 4th and 5th districts. For the 140 state legislative races, no Democrats are running in 57 races. There are no Democrats running for these additional statewide posts: Justice of the Supreme Court, Public Service Commissioner seat #1, and Public Service Commissioner seat #2.

Because of Alabama’s severe ballot access laws, it is likely that no minor party or independent candidate will be on the ballot for U.S. Senate or any other statewide race in Alabama either. The petition deadline in midterm years is more lenient than it is in presidential election years. In 2014, it is due June 3, but 44,829 valid signatures are required. If a minor party could get on the ballot for U.S. Senate, chances are that it would poll 20%, which would put it on the ballot automatically for 2016.

Meanwhile, the Alabama House Constitution and Elections Committee has passed HB 268, which moves the independent petition deadline from primary day, to the day on which major party candidates file for the primary. If the bill were to pass, in 2016 the independent petition deadline (for office other than president) would move from March to December of the year before the election. Even the March petition deadline is at risk of being held unconstitutional, and a deadline of December of the year before would obviously be unconstitutional. HB 268 is sponsored by Representative David Standridge (R-Hayden). Primary candidates in Alabama do not need to petition for a place on the ballot; they pay a filing fee. HB 268 not only moves the deadline months earlier, it requires independent candidates to pay a filing fee.

6 Responses

  1. JR

    Is ballot access determined by how well a party polls in a particular statewide race in AL? If so, could this impact the Democrats’ ballot line? Will the Democrats need to re-petition for access for the next Senate race?

    • A group that polls 20% for any statewide race stays on the ballot for the next election. Democrats do have nominees for other statewide posts, so having no US Senate candidate doesn’t affect their party status.

      The Libertarian Party got 20% for one statewide race in 2000, and was thus on the ballot automatically for all office in 2002.

  2. Demo Rep

    1. Each election is NEW.

    2. Separate is NOT equal.

    3. Will even the Donkeys get some lawyers with brains regarding the above JR comment and 1. and 2. ???

  3. Andy

    This sounds like an opportunity for the Libertarian Party of Alabama. Alabama is one of the states that has a vote retention test for ballot access, but it is the highest in the nation at 20%, although it applies to any statewide office. Running a candidate for US Senate in Alabama would give the Libertarian Party of Alabama the best chance that they have had to achieve 20% or more of the vote for a statewide office, and if they could do this, the party would automatically have full party status for the 2016 election.

  4. Cromulent

    Its just another indicator of how extreme the Dem brand has become.

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