Off The Record: The latest rumors and rumblings in North Alabama
The governor has set the date for the District 10 special election (March 26, 2024) but, at this point, there still doesn’t seem to be a Republican candidate. Marilyn Lands, the 2022 Democratic candidate, has already announced her campaign but the ALGOP is reportedly coming up empty. It seems many potential candidates contacted (and there have been many contacted) are not in the newly drawn district, an unavoidable roadblock made evident by former State Rep. Cole who resigned after running afoul of the residency requirements. Madison City Councilman Teddy Powell was an early favorite but it seems work considerations will keep him out of the race. Insiders say Republicans don’t have a plan B and are desperately seeking a suitable candidate. Candidate qualifying opens 8:30 a.m. Monday and closes 5 p.m. Oct. 10. The special primary election is Dec. 12.
Anyone else see Scalise about town?
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise visited Toyota Field for a fundraiser this week and brought a few of his friends. The leader was joined by the entire Alabama Republican House Delegation for the event which followed a fundraising dinner the night before in Birmingham. Scalise is No. 2 in the House Leadership and long mentioned as a possible alternative should Speaker Kevin McCarthy be removed.
No rooms at the inn, er uh, Marriott AC …
File this under “Congressmen – They’re Just Like Us” when it comes to travel snafus. When the five visiting members of the Alabama Republican House Delegation made it to the Marriott AC in downtown Huntsville following their Birmingham dinner, they found their reserved rooms had been given to other travelers. Hotel staff scrambled to find a room for Leader Scalise, who is undergoing treatment for a blood cancer, but Reps. Robert Aderholt, Mike Rogers, Jerry Carl, Gary Palmer and Barry Moore were forced to seek accommodations elsewhere. Lucky for them a few rooms remained at the Springhill Suites at Constellation and they were able to get some sleep before the Toyota Field breakfast and flight back to D.C.
The court-appointed Special Master produced three possible congressional district maps for Alabama and the judges are expected to pick one of those three plans. Each plan makes changes to the Fifth Congressional District seat currently held by first-term Rep. Dale Strong. All three plans reduce his share of Lauderdale County while placing all of Lawrence County in the newly drawn district. With the primary election in March, expect Strong to be spending a lot of time in Moulton, Courtland and Hatton meeting his new voters.
The Huntsville Madison County Public Library is caught in a crossfire between opposing factions. On one side is the Alabama Public Library Service (APLS) and and on the other is Read Freely Alabama. In September, the ALPS board voted to compile a list of books it considered inappropriate for children. It seems HMCPL preemptively began the process of recataloging certain titles, drawing the ire of Read Freely Alabama and the American Library Association, which reportedly sent a letter to the local director. The recataloging, or removal of books from the children’s section to other parts of the library, has been paused for now.