House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, Rep. Juandalynn Givan to run for 2nd Congressional District
House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, D-Huntsville (left) and Rep. Juandalynn Givan, D-Birmingham, said Thursday they will run in the 2 Congressional District race. (Stew Milne for Alabama Reflector)
Two Alabama House Democrats said Thursday they would enter the 2nd Congressional race, joining a growing field on both sides.
House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, D-Huntsville, said Thursday he would jump into the race, after weeks of signaling his interest.
Daniels, who has been in the House of Representatives since 2014, said in a phone interview Thursday that his experience as minority leader has equipped him for a congressional role. He said he has been able to address issues with both parties.
“If I’m able to do that in a super minority, imagine what I’m able to do if the numbers are close, or even in a majority,” he said.
Rep. Juandalynn Givan, D-Birmingham, an attorney and member of the Alabama House of Representatives since 2010, said in a phone interview she wanted to be an advocate for the district, which runs across Alabama’s Black Belt from the Mississippi border to the Georgia line.
“The people that deserve to have their voices heard, I will be a vessel for those whose voices cannot be heard,” she said. “There is a need for new, fresh progressive leadership in Alabama.”
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Both Daniels and Givan stressed their legislative work. Givan cited her calls for the leadership in Brookside to resign last year after an al.com investigation revealed that the town was using fines and forfeitures in a predatory policing system. She also cited her support for legislation banning some types of exhibition driving, which local officials said was contributing to accidents and deaths in Birmingham.
Daniels, who has stressed his connections in Bullock County, cited his work securing aid for Selma after tornadoes ripped through the city in January.
Both candidates said schools, infrastructure and improving health care would be priorities. Daniels cited a lack of maternal care and OB-GYNs, and said he would try to find ways to coax Alabama to expand Medicaid.
“If I’m successful, I’ll be able to get the federal government to allow Alabama to start over and give them the match of 100% and give them the opportunity to provide health care to this some 300,000 Alabamians,” he said.
Givan said her priority would be helping people living in the Black Belt stay there by improving services.
“They want hospitals,” she said. “They want access to medical care and infrastructure, or at least to not ride on roads that have not been paved.
Neither candidate lives in the district, but both said they would establish residency. The U.S. Constitution does not require members of the U.S. House of Representatives to live in the district they represent.
A federal court in October approved a new state congressional map that made the 2nd Congressional District about 49% Black, following an order that the state needed to draw a map where Black voters had an opportunity to choose their preferred candidate in at least two districts. The district is expected to lean Democratic.
Reps. Napoleon Bracy of Prichard and Jeremy Gray of Opelika have also said they will seek the Democratic nomination for the seat, as has Sen. Kirk Hatcher of Montgomery. Democrats Phyllis Harvey-Hall; Terrell Anderson and Austin Vigue are also listed as running.
On the Republican side, Sen. Greg Albritton of Atmore; former Sen. Dick Brewbaker of Pike Road and attorney Caroleene Dobson are also running.
Primaries for the seat will take place in March.
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