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Alabama Elections Directory 2006

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Alabama Women and Alabama Politics

Joe Reed recently made some news when he called for Democrats to recruit more women to run for the legislature.

Reed's implication that Alabama lags behind the rest of the nation in female legislators is correct. According to the Center for American Women and Politics, Alabama's state legislature ranks 49th in % of female legislators (ahead of only South Carolina). Three women (2 D and 1 R) currently serve in the State Senate while 12 women (10 D and 2 R) sit in the State House. That means women represent an anemic 10.7% of the Alabama legislature.

But don't look now because that percentage could dramatically drop in 2006. With beleaguered State Sen Sundra Escott facing a tough primary challenge from State Rep Oliver Robinson and State Sen Harri Anne Smith expected to file for governor, it is certainly possible that Vivian Davis-Figures might be the sole woman left in the State Senate after the next round of elections. I haven't looked in detail at the women in the State House, but I don't expect to see a dramatic increase in that body either.

Of course Alabama's highest profile female politician, Lurleen Wallace, was hardly elected on her own, even though her popularity eventually succeeded that of her husband. And no woman has ever been elected to Congress from Alabama. As far as I can tell, Faye Baggiano's (D) narrow 1990 loss to incumbent Bill Dickinson(R) is the closest a woman has been to winning election to Congress.

However, Alabama does have some success to point to when it comes to electing women. Four of the seven top statewide offices are held by women (LG, Treas, SoS, Aud). And women have also had success in statewide judicial races, and on the Public Service Commission, and State Board of Education.

So while women may be under-represented in the both the state and national legislative bodies, Alabama does have plenty of prominent female elected officials, both past and present. And with many eyeing office in 2006 (from governor on down), Alabama women will continue to play an important role in state politics.

13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Women? so what? Alabama needs honest people. Sundra Escott-Russell isnt qualified to represent any self respecting democratic government.
When groups look for specific types of candidates, be it along gender lines or other demographics, they always fail to consider ethics. there is a reason for that. Most innocent candidates get spent by montgomery machine and never know what hit them, just like siegelman who overlooked the law and now knows what hit him.

9:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Given some of the female federal judges we have in this state, I'd say we've got more than enuf women in government to deal with.

10:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

one would think that karen bowdre would know the law since she is a judge, but look at carnival she presided over in the scrushy trial. That thing was a joke like the oj trial. and justice bleeds and cries for mercy while people like scrushy laugh all the way to the bank.

10:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. Who cares if women are "under-represented"? Only cry-baby liberals are concerned about this.

I'm personally sick of this emphasis on race, gender, sexual orientation, income level, etc.

Children are also "under-represented" in government. Should we lower the age limit for the legislature to infancy?

What about pets? Animals have rights too! What about certain under-represented jobs? We have lots of lawyers in public office. Not too many plumbers, though.

We could have lots of fun with this...

12:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

in fact, fish cry when they are killed for our benefit. and that darn broccoli wont stop staring at me before i chop off its head for the steamer. I agree, catfish and broccoli should be on the ballot for service in the alabama legislature. neither could be any worse than the humans that currently steal us blind.

5:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to know what any woman in her right mind would want to spend time in Montgomery, fighting over highway funds and police pensions.

My grandmother had a good 'ol time in the kitchen baking homemade bread and bouncing a bunch of great grand-babies on her knee.

Wow. Did I just say that? That sounds too politically incorrect. But my grandmother didn't give a hang about that stuff.

10:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

look, if joe reed says anything, its because his big white boss man paul hubbert told him what to say. reed has tried hard for 37 years to establish an independent lucid thought. It has been a long strange trip watching him not develop and hubbert manipulating reed's stupidity every step of the way. Now, that has value, but dont expect me to pay for it. I think Reed and Hubbert should get a step over toe hold in prison.

11:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Cloyd Deason said...

wimmins in politics is like wimmins and watches. wimmins dont need watches becawse theys a clock on the stove!

11:03:00 AM  
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