Rep. Napoleon Bracy, D-Prichard (left) and Sen. Kirk Hatcher, D-Montgomery said Monday they would run for the new 2nd congressional district seat. (Bracy photo: Brian Lyman/Alabama Reflector; Hatcher photo: Stew Milne for Alabama Reflector)
Two Democratic state legislators have entered the race for Alabama’s new 2nd Congressional District, and a third said Monday he will decide whether to get in in the next 10 days.
Sen Kirk Hatcher, D-Montgomery, said in an interview Monday that he will run for the seat, which stretches from the Mississippi border to the Georgia line and includes Montgomery and much of the Black Belt.
“We have an opportunity in this district, for these counties represented, to impact a whole host of issues,” said Hatcher.
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Rep. Napoleon Bracy, D-Prichard, said in a statement Monday he would also run for the new seat.
“This is our time, our time to have a seat at the table built on the backs of those who, my entire lifetime, had been disregarded by their Congressional representatives due to their voting record or area code,” the statement said.
House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, D-Huntsville, said in a phone interview Monday he would make a decision about the race before Nov. 9.
The new 2nd Congressional District, created by a federal court order at the beginning of October, has a Black Voting Age Population (BVAP) of about 48.7%. With patterns of racial polarization in voting in Alabama, where white Alabamians tend to support Republicans and Black Alabamians tend to support Democrats, the seat is considered a pick-up opportunity for Democrats.
U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Birmingham, is currently the only Democrat in Alabama’s seven-member U.S. House delegation.
Hatcher, the director of Project Head Start in Montgomery, said he wanted to be an advocate for additional educational resources and for the military bases within the district. Hatcher also said he wants to get more “equity” when it comes to infrastructure issues.
“I’m one of those individuals who’s not going in to upset the apple cart,” he said. “I go in to see what works.”
Hatcher was elected to the Alabama House in 2018. He won election to the Alabama Senate in 2021 and was re-elected in 2021.
Alabama Political Reporter first reported Hatcher’s candidacy.
Hatcher said Monday he had the support of Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed, who had been seen as a top candidate for the race. Reed told Al.com’s Mike Cason earlier this month that he was considering a run.
Adam Muhlendorf, a spokesman for Reed, said Monday the mayor had no comment on his congressional plans.
Bracy, a member of the Alabama House since 2010, touted his legislative leadership, including his prior service as chair of the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus in 2013.
“At the heart of progress is education, healthcare, economics, and workforce development,” Bracy’s statement said. “And in communities where poverty is still real and economic development is scarce, we have watched the world grow around us while feeling the strain of disinvestment with no one to stand in the gap.”
Bracy did not provide further comment beyond the statement.
Daniels, who has touted his connections with Bullock County, said he had a track record of delivering programs around the state, including a bill passed in the Republican-controlled Legislature this spring to exempt overtime pay from income tax. He also cited work on behalf of Democratic candidates around the state.
“What have you done to make an impact? That’s what voters want to know,” he said.
Other figures may jump into the race. Sen. Merika Coleman, D-Pleasant Grove, said Monday that she was still exploring a candidacy, but she had not decided. She has filed with the FEC due to technicalities around her exploratory committee.
Former Sen. Dick Brewbaker, R-Pike Road, said Monday he is still considering a run in the district.
U.S. Rep Barry Moore’s chief of staff confirmed to Al.com’s John Sharp that he would be running in the new 1st Congressional District, setting up a primary battle with current U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl, R-Mobile. The new map drew Moore, currently the U.S. representative for the 2nd Congressional District, into the 1st Congressional District.
Brewbaker said that Moore’s decision “clears the way for me to run in the 2nd.”
“But until I qualify, I don’t want to make an official announcement because you never know what God has for a person,” he said.
One other candidate confirmed their candidacy Monday.
Phyllis Harvey-Hall said in a phone interview Monday that she is running to be the “people’s candidate” and pointed to her previous runs in the district. Hall’s concerns included women’s healthcare and autonomy, as well as hospitals in rural areas.
“So I’m running to be a people’s candidate, the voice and someone that’s going to fight for the things that we need today,” she said.
Federal Election Commission filings also show that Harvey-Hall filed on Oct. 18, Terrell Anderson filed in April and Austin Vigue filed in 2022.
The Democratic primary for the seat will take place in March.
Editor Brian Lyman contributed to this report.
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