If Rep. Artur Davis wins the Democratic nomination for governor in Alabama on Tuesday, he’ll be one step closer to being the state’s first black governor.
“I am an Alabamian by birth, and I know what it would mean to see Artur Davis sworn in on the same steps where George Wallace stood,” said Democratic Georgia Rep. John Lewis, well-known for his involvement in the civil rights movement.
But Davis has some large steps to take before that happens. First, he has to fend off a tough primary challenge from Agricultural Commissioner Ron Sparks, who is white and has the backing of some of the state’s major black political groups. Davis, in trying to appeal to the electorate at large, has not always been a favorite of the groups.
As for winning against the Republican nominee in November, the latest Rasmussen Reports shows Davis falling short in head-to-head match-ups with each of the likely Republican candidates.
Polls show that former State Sen. Bradley Byrne leads among Republicans but faces a tough challenge from businessman Tim James, whose dad was once governor. James’ campaign gained both national attention and much-needed momentum in the state after airing an advertisement regarding driver’s license exams in which James stated, “This is Alabama; If you want to live here, learn it.” (WATCH THE AD)
Former State Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who in 2003 was ousted as chief justice for refusing to remove his display of the Ten Commandments from the state court, is also running for the GOP nomination. But his campaign has failed to catch fire this election season. He and James have both unsuccessfully run for governor in the past.
Primary voters in New Mexico and Mississippi will also head to the polls on Tuesday.
The three-state primary day will be followed a week later by a veritable tsunami of races on June 8, when some of the most-watched primaries will take place in California, South Carolina, Arkansas and Nevada. Also holding contests that day are Iowa, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota and Virginia.