MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — It has been 16 years since Alabama elected a Democrat for Governor. This year, six candidates are hoping to end the streak held by Republicans.
Some candidates are familiar names to politics, like Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb, and former State Representative James Fields. New names like Christopher Countryman, Doug Smith, and Anthony White hope to be the surprise winner in a crowded field.
Walt Maddox leads Alabama’s 5th largest city. The Tuscaloosa mayor touts his ability to work with both parties.
” As mayor of Tuscaloosa, a year ago we received 89 percent of the vote in a city that is purple, and that’s because both Republicans and Democrats understand that if you can achieve results everyone benefits,” Maddox said.
Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb says she’s the only candidate that has held statewide office. She believes voters must look at her record to fix what’s broken in the State.
“[The] Problems of Alabama are not theoretical to me, I’ve seen them in a courtroom,” Cobb said. “We need bold and courageous leadership, someone who does even care about getting re-elected and wants to go in a try to solve the big problems of Alabama, I am that person.”
Former State Representative James Fields hopes his values will push voters to send him back to Montgomery.
“When I ran for the state legislature, the people in Cullman Alabama knew that James Fields was a person on integrity,” Fields said. “A person who is committed and a person who is concerned about community.”
As a community activist, Chris Countryman takes the stand of bipartisanship in his campaign for governor.
“The big thing I have to offer is diversity as a whole,” Countryman said. “The office of governor is sometimes a bi-partisan position, where you’ve got to enforce the law as written and work with people from different political backgrounds.”
Doug Smith has spent most of his career working as an economic advisor to both Democrats and Republicans and wants to bring his spirit of working across party lines to the governor’s office.
“The new blue Democrats are willing to step across aisle and work with our Republicans and Independent friends to find good ideas where ever we can find them,” Smith said.
Dothan minister Anthony White is hoping his military and business background will land him in the governor’s office.
“I’ve been in corporate sales for a number of years, I’ve been in management and the executive level for a number of years,” White said. “I also have people skills – that is the one thing that we need for this position, someone that can be repeatable.”
Alabama voters will decide the next Democratic candidate for the governor’s race in the June 5th primaries.