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GOP Cruises in Alabama

The Associated Press

Yesterday’s election saw the Alabama GOP build upon its existing supermajority won in 2010 and increased their numbers in both chambers of the state legislature. Republicans will hold nearly 70 percent of the seats. Meanwhile, Republican Governor Robert Bentley cruised to reelection, easily dispatching Democrat Parker Griffith.

Alabama’s 6th congressional district race has come to a close and unofficial results have Republican Gary Palmer as the winner. Palmer squared off with Democrat Mark Lester to replace retiring Republican representative Spencer Bachus. Palmer is the chief development officer for a conservative think tank. He says his first priority in office will be to get the economy growing again.

“We have the ability to do that, we have enormous amount of natural resources, i have said throughout the campaign the United State is literally an energy super power. We need to utilize those resources to get people back to work.”

Other big issues in the race included health care and immigration. The 6th congressional district in Alabama was deemed by the national journal to be one of the safest GOP seats going into Election Day and was the only open congressional race in the state.

The voting is over in Alabama—but the future still appears cloudy for the Speaker of the State House. Mike Hubbard was among the incumbents seeking re-election. But, he still faces twenty three counts of ethics violations. The court case has yet to be resolved. There are questions on whether Hubbard would automatically lose his house seat or face impeachment by the lower chamber if he wins and is convicted. Jenny Carroll is an associate professor of law at the University of Alabama. She says Hubbard has insisted that he acted for the good of the people…

“And, he believed that his local constituency was benefited and Alabama in general was benefited. So, Hubbard may have a successful defense even if the State presents evidence that he did exactly what they claimed he did.”

While Hubbard won his seat at the polls, Republican House member Barry Moore ran unopposed. Moore was recently acquitted of lying to a grand jury about statements to a political rival.

The television program about business called Alabama, Inc airs tonight on your local Alabama Public Television station. This evening’s show includes a name and voice that may be familiar to listeners to Alabama Public Radio. Shelley Stewart of Birmingham is a successful advertising executive. He also played a role in Alabama’s fight for civil rights in the 1960’s. Stewart says despite the racism of the time, he tried to keep a positive outlook.

“Everybody was my mentor. I took everything, and I tried to take that. Stop being angry about anything. I say, quite frankly, anger is just one letter away from danger.”

Stewart was a radio disc jockey in 1963. He put code words into his broadcasts to signal the start of a protest that became known as the children’s march. The demonstration became iconic with news footage of protesters being attacked with fire hoses and police dogs. Alabama, Inc airs tonight at 10 p.m. on your local Alabama Public Television station.

Jeremy Loeb is a reporter and former APR host of Morning Edition. He joined the station in December of 2013 and stayed with us until November 2014.
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