Lowell Barron's Last Stand
However, it would take a super-majority of 21 senators to oust Barron from his President pro tem post. That looks to be unlikely. Jabo Waggoner, the GOP leader in the senate, offered this breakdown of the senate's loyalties...
"Both sides have 15 or 16 firm votes, and there are three or four folks that come in and out," he said."So Barron's post atop the Senate food chain is probably safe for the final session before the 06 elections. However, the stars are aligning against his long-term leadership prospects. When the Senate organizes after the 06 elections it would only take 18 anti-Barron senators to elect someone new instead of the current 21 required to oust him.
Unless Barron is unexpectedly successful in taking out his opponents in the 2006 elections, his days atop the heap seem to be numbered.
Since the Democrats have a 25-10 majority in the Senate, Barron's successor is almost assured to be a Democrat. However, exactly what kind of Democrat will succeed Barron will be determined by the 06 election results and internal Senate dynamics.
Zeb Little (D-Cullman) could emerge as the new leader of the Barron wing but without Barron's personal baggage. Gerald Dial (D-Lineville) has long been a Barron opponent and could take over the top spot if circumstances move in his direction. Jim Preuitt D-Talladega)might be a compromise candidate if the Senate remains teetering between the two warring factions.
While Barron looks likely to hang onto his spot through the next session, it will only paper over the internal divisions which will surely spill over into the 2006 elections and quite possibility well into the future.