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Alabama Elections Directory 2006

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Hubbard, Hoops, and a House Race

In 2002 State Rep. Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) didn't have major party opposition and was able to coast to re-election. Since then he risen to through the GOP ranks to become the Republican leader in the House. Hubbard has also become one of Bob Riley's biggest and most loyal boosters.

In his role as a Republican leader, Hubbard has helped spearhead the GOP effort to wrest control of the AL legislature from the Democrats. However, his own personal political situation has become a little more complicated with the emergence of his first real challenger since his initial election in 1998.

Democrat Carolyn Ellis has announced her plans to run for Hubbard's District 79 seat. Ellis is a former teacher and refers to herself as a "civic leader", but is probably best know as the wife of ex-Auburn University basketball coach Cliff Ellis.

District 79 was held for decades by Democrat Pete Turnham and Hubbard won the seat with 56% of the vote upon his retirement in 1998. Though, Hubbard avoided Democratic opposition in 2002, the district still maintains a Democratic base and some level of competitiveness. Ellis' contacts and connections should allow her to raise more money and get more press than a typical first time candidate. Certainly, defeating Hubbard will be an uphill battle, but Ellis should be able to make this a competitive race.

Ellis' announcement press release foreshadowed what will likely be one of her primary justifications for ousting the incumbent.

"Today we have a representative who seems to spend more time in partisan warfare and building a political machine than serving the needs of District 79," she said.
Hubbard's elevation from backbencher to his party's leader no doubt gives him a greater influence and prominence. However, it also comes at a price as his efforts to lead a GOP takeover have given him a Democratic bullseye on his back. The more time and money Democrats can make Hubbard focusing on his own race, the less inclination he'll have to
travel the state stumping and fundraising for Republican incumbents and challengers.

Even if Ellis is unsuccessful in her quest to become the next representative for District 79, if Mike Hubbard is tethered to his own district fighting for his own political future instead of leading the larger GOP effort to win the State House, it will be a tactical victory for Alabama Democrats.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that Hubbard is joined at the wallet with Auburn trustee ad infinitum Bobby Lowder may also cause him some problems in a district in which Lowder is not exactly beloved.

11:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hubbard will whip the floor with her. This is not big deal at all.

2:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cliff ellis is the most ethically challenged man in AU. I would think after siegleman, the democrats would understand opposition research works best when you do it on yourself.... carolyn ellis is a joke, (unless big money grip salvatore the chin hubbert buys it for her) We are sick of this garbage

10:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, looks like the Republican slime machine is at it already. Karl, is that you? Don't you have enough going on with that Plame investigation? Geez...

Simple fact is, Mike Hubbard has made millions off of his connections to Bobby Lowder and the now-discredited AU Trustees. People deserve to know that he's really just another self-serving politician.

Besides, it's not Cliff running against Mike... what an idiot. I wouldn't think Mike would want his campaign to turn into Battle of the Spouses, does he?

8:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if its not lowder owning troy king and siegelman, its jack miller trying to run the democrat party from under joe turnham. I think when the feds get through with their investigation (which probably wont end for years by the way) there wont be a democrat party in alabama. Ms. ellis is probably a nice lady, but her ties to lowder put her under the microscope and her husband cant stand magnification

8:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are Ms. Ellis' ties to Lowder? Do you really know what you're talking about?

7:29:00 AM  
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