Qualifying for the special election to fill Jeff Sessions’ Senate seat closed yesterday, and both parties are fielding quite the slate of candidates. Eleven Republicans and eight Democrats qualified to compete in the August 15 primary. Both races are likely to go to run-off elections scheduled for September 26. The general election is December 12.
The biggest surprise is the number of Democratic candidates jumping in. Previous election cycles have given us the sad spectacle of Democrats leaving races either uncontested entirely or fielding sacrificial candidates – some of whom didn’t even bother to campaign.
But this year? Wow. Outside observers might be surprised to learn that the resistance is strong in Alabama.
- Doug Jones entered the race as a top-tier candidate. The former US Attorney was the lead prosecutor in the Birmingham church bombing case and worked on the indictment of Birmingham clinic bomber Eric Rudolph. He has a basic campaign Web site up, a campaign Facebook page and an ActBlue online donation account.
- Michael Hansen is another candidate with a statewide profile. He’s the executive director of GASP, a Birmingham-based environmental group that focuses on air quality. He has a campaign crowdfunding site and he’s on Twitter.
- Robert Kennedy, Jr. is not one of those Kennedys. The Alabama Democratic Party knows little to nothing about him, but accepted his paperwork and qualifying check. As of this writing, he has no social media presence and no campaign Web site or fundraising page.
- Jason Fisher is from Orange Beach. He has experience in non-profit and for-profit businesses, and is currently a senior consultant Ruffalo Noel Levitz. Fisher has a public policy background and Master’s degree in Public Service. He has a personal Facebook page, but no public campaign page or fundraising page yet.
- Will Boyd is the Lauderdale County Democratic Party chair. He was the AL-05 Democratic nominee for Congress in 2016 against incumbent Mo Brooks. He hasn’t yet posted any campaign social media accounts or Web site.
- Vann Caldwell is a constable in Talladega County and owns a private security company. He ran as a Clinton delegate in 2016. Caldwell has a private Facebook page, but no official campaign pages set up yet.
- Brian McGee lives in Lee County. We have no contact information for him or any background information. Yet.
- Charles Nana Tchiekou is making his second try for a Senate seat. In 2016, he lost to Ron Crumpton in the primary. His campaign Web site is up. He has a Paypal donation page. There is some confusion about his name. In 2016, he was “Charles Nana” on the ballot, and his Web site is “Charles Nana.”However, he qualified as “Charles nana Tchiekou.”
2016 Senate candidate Ron Crumpton withdrew his candidacy due to medical reasons, but hopes to be back in the game in 2018.
All Democratic candidates are invited submit articles about their stand on the issues, event notices, etc. Use the Contact Us form for more information.
Also, once the candidates have their Web sites, social media, etc. information organized, we’ll create a special candidate information page to make it easier for voters to find and contact candidates.