Thursday, November 30, 2006

Sadly, their names aren't as quirky

A skirmish between the business and social conservative wings of the Alabama Republican Party is shaping up in the impending race for state party chairman.

Carrying the banner for the business wing is Senate Minority Leader Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, who is so closely aligned with Gov. Bob Riley that he named his son for the governor. Leading the grassroots charge for the social conservatives is Scott Beason of Gardendale, a state representative who ousted longtime state Sen. Jack Biddle in the June primary.

Hubbard would seem to be the status quo candidate. Many Beason backers, meanwhile, feel the party under outgoing chairwoman Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh -- whose name, as always, entertains me -- didn't do enough to erode Democratic control of many county offices or the Legislature. Either way, the winner would have to step down from his seat, unless he wanted Democrats to have the advantage of a chairman able to devote his full political attention to party business with the GOP run by someone pulling double duty as a chairman and legislator.

The election is in February, so it's too early to predict a winner. But it will be interesting to see which faction prevails, and whether state Republicans can avoid an ugly, divisive fight in the process.

4 Comments:

Blogger Randi Bates said...

Neither Hubbard nor Beeson would have to step down from his legislative seat since the Republican chairman is, by definition, not a full time position.

4:16 AM  
Blogger Alabamian said...

Neither would be legally required to step down, of course, because their legislative jobs are also part-time. But working as both a legislator and party chairman would make for a tough balancing act that the state Democratic chairman doesn't have.

4:50 AM  
Blogger Randi Bates said...

I'm not sure why it would be a balancing act. There should be no conflict in championing Republican causes or candidates in either role.

I'm not sure having a full-time paid chairman has helped the AlaDems in any way shape or form. They lost 15 out of 20 statewide ballots and 2 Senate seats. They will spend the next few years dealing with the fallout of the 2-year college scandal (in which, incidentially, Joe Turnham's father and brother have been implicated).

11:31 AM  
Blogger Alabamian said...

Republicans have won most statewide races in Alabama for a few election cycles now, and that was going to be the case in 2006 regardless of who the Democratic chairman was. My point is simply that legislator and party chairman are two different jobs that entail different responsibilities, even if they both would allow for the promotion of GOP causes. You may well be right to suggest that the winner would have enough time to handle both jobs, though, especially considering the electoral and fundraising edges the state GOP enjoys.

5:05 PM  

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