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House Dem 255   GOP 177  

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PW logo Halter Maintains Edge Over Lincoln Grassley Looks Safe
Quote of the Day Haley Will Resign if Charges Prove True
Insiders Slam Obama on Oil Spill Democrats' Secret Plan to Hold Congress

News from the Votemaster            

Sparks Beats Davis in Alabama Democratic Primary     Permalink

Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks (D) crushed Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL) for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Alabama yesterday. Sparks margin was huge, about 63% to 37%. Sparks is white and Davis is black and this was seen as a test of whether a black person could win the nomination of Alabama Democrats to run for governor. Not that many decades ago, then governor of Alabama, George Wallace (D-AL), ran for governor and President on a slogan of "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever." Alabama has certainly changed since Wallace was in office, but not enough to nominate a black man to run for governor. However, race wasn't the dominant issue during the campaign although few, if any, voters were unaware of the racial implications of the contest. Sparks certainly didn't campaign on the slogan "vote for the white guy." In fact, his main pitch was to legalize and tax Las Vegas style gambling in Alabama as a source of new revenue for the state. Also perhaps relevant is that Sparks is decidedly more liberal than Davis. The Republican primary was closer, with a July 13 runoff between former state senator Bradley Byrne and either Robert Benley or Tim James. It's still too close to call for the #2 slot.

Party Switcher, Parker Griffith, Loses Republican Primary     Permalink

Party labels aren't just arbitrary tags that you can change when they become inconvenient. Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) learned that the hard way last month when the five-term senator was defeated in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary by a real Democrat, Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA). Yesterday, Rep. Parker Griffith (R-AL) learned the same lesson. Late last year he switched parties and became a Republican, even though he was elected to Congress as a Democrat. However, the Republican voters of Alabama made it clear that they wanted a real Republican as their congressman, and picked Madison County Commissioner Mo Brooks to be their nominee. Given the Republican tilt of the district (R+12), Brooks is now a shoo-in in the general election.

Nunnelee to Take on Childers in November     Permalink

In neighboring Mississippi, state senator Alan Nunnelee won the Republican primary in MS-01. He will take on Rep. Travis Childers (D-MS), a Blue Dog Democrat who won a special election last year and then won the general election again. The district is R+14, so the Republicans have an excellent chance of taking the seat back.

Martinez vs. Denish for Governor of New Mexico     Permalink

Dona Ana County District Attorney Susana Martinez (R) easily won her primary in New Mexico and will now face Lt. Gov. Diane Denish (D-NM) in the general election for governor to replace the term-limited Bill Richardson (D-NM). It could be close. This is only the third time in history that a gubernatorial race has had two women facing off against each other. Whoever wins will be New Mexico's first female governor although neighboring Arizona has had three in a row (Jane Dee Hull, Janet Napolitano, and Jan Brewer).

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