AL Dems Endorse Sam Jones: Help or Hindrance?
On Saturday the Alabama Democratic Party awarded its endorsement to longtime Democrat Mobile County Commissioner Sam Jones in his quest to become the mayor of Mobile. While this move should not be controversial in Democratic circles, as Jones is running against Republican John Peavy, it is open to discussion whether this endorsement helps or hinders Jones' bid to become Mobile's first black mayor.
Though a nice gesture, I don't really see any practical advantage given to Jones by this endorsement. Perhaps, the Democratic party can now use some of its resources to aid Jones, but I saw no mention of that. And certainly Jones was already being aided by Democrats from all over the state prior to Saturday's endorsement.
Unfortunately for Jones it is easier to think of ways for this endorsement to hurt rather than help. Jones came very close to winning an outright majority in the four candidate primary election and becoming the next mayor last Tuesday. He only needs to add a little over 2% to his total to win the runoff. Whereas, Peavy has to nearly double his 25% to win. However, the two dispatched candidates from the primary (Ann Bedsole and Bess Rich) are both Republicans, giving Peavy at least some hope that if he can consolidate the GOP vote, he can emerge victorious. It is this element that perhaps should have given the state Democrats pause before endorsing Jones. It would appear that the only thing that can keep Sam Jones from being the next mayor of Mobile would be an extreme polarization of the Mobile electorate- partisan, racial, ideological, or otherwise. And the state Democrats are giving Jones' opponents some ammuntion with which to start just that kind of polarization.