Sen. Kirk Hatcher won’t run for 2nd Congressional District
Sen. Kirk Hatcher, D-Montgomery, during a session on redistricting on July 19, 2023 in Montgomery, Ala. (Stew Milne for Alabama Reflector)
Sen. Kirk Hatcher, D-Montgomery, said Friday he will not seek the Democratic nomination for the new 2nd Congressional District, a few weeks after becoming among the first Democrats to declare for the race.
Hatcher, a member of the Alabama Senate since 2021, wrote in a text message Friday that he “ended an intense internal fight with myself” in deciding not to run.
“I am well-tutored in the knowledge that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should,” he wrote. “Instead I’m looking forward to continuing to serve the people of District 26 alongside my good friends in the Senate.”
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Hatcher declined to comment further.
The senator announced that he would enter the race on Oct. 30, saying he wanted to be an advocate for education and infrastructure in the district. Hatcher also said he had the support of Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed, whose potential candidacy for the seat was the source of much speculation. Reed on Nov. 4 announced he would not run. His announcement did not include any candidate endorsements.
Hatcher’s withdrawal left Montgomery, the biggest city in the district and a blue-leaning area, without a major Democratic candidate as of Friday afternoon.
But there will not be a shortage of candidates for the seat, drawn by a federal court in October to give Black voters in Alabama the opportunity to elect a second congressional representative. The district, with a Black Voting Age Population (BVAP) of 48.7%, is expected to lean Democratic in next year’s election.
As of early Friday afternoon, 10 Democratic candidates had qualified for the race, including Rep. Napoleon Bracy, D-Prichard; House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, D-Huntsville; Rep. Jeremy Gray, D-Opelika; Sen. Merika Coleman, D-Pleasant Grove and Shomari Figures, a former deputy chief of staff for the U.S. attorney general and the son of Sen. Vivian Davis Figures, D-Mobile. Rep. Juandalynn Givan, D-Birmingham, said Thursday she also planned to run for the seat.
Six Republicans had qualified to run for the seat as of Friday afternoon, including Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Atmore; former Sen. Dick Brewbaker, R-Pike Road and Caroleene Dobson, an attorney.
Qualifying will end at 5 p.m. on Friday. The primaries for the seat will take place in March.
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