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Two Alabama GOP Congressmen may fight over new seat

Alabama’s newest Congressional district may prompt a rare political battle in the State. Namely, two current Republican Congressmen fighting for their party’s nomination for one available seat in the U.S. House. The primary fight, if it happens, would be due to a newly redrawn set of voting district lines that creates an overlap with two previously GOP territories.

Republican lawmaker Barry Moore told 1819 News that he plans to challenge fellow GOP House member Jerry Carl for the newly redrawn district. Moore said "I am a true conservative, and the system doesn't like a true conservative."

Carl replied in a statement published by Politico… "Bring it on. I have a proven track record of putting Alabama first every day and delivering conservative results for Alabama’s First Congressional District. I’m not afraid to fight Biden’s radical, out of touch ideas or whatever else comes my way."

Moore and Carl both won their previous seats in Congress in 2021. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Alabama’s appeal of a federal court ruling that ordered the new Congressional district lines. The redrawn plan is considered likely to mean an additional Democratic member in the delegation. African-Americans represent an estimated twenty seven percent of Alabama’s population, but there’s currently only one black majority district in the State. The new map would transform Alabama's second Congressional District, around Montgomery, into one that stretches across the state. Political observers say there’s a strong likelihood a Black Democrat will win that seat in Congress.

A three judge federal panel stepped in to adopt new district boundaries after ruling that the Republican-controlled Alabama Legislature failed to remedy a Voting Rights Act violation when lawmakers adopted new lines this summer.

The panel, which includes two judges appointed by former President Donald Trump, wrote that it was "deeply troubled" that Alabama lawmakers flouted their instruction to create a second majority-Black district — or something close to it.

"I think this is a historic moment for Alabama, a historic moment for Black voters in the state," said Deuel Ross, deputy director of litigation for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, after the hearing that ordered the finalization of the new map.

He voiced hope that new district lines could open the way for Alabama to elect a second Black congressional representative.

"There have never been two Black congressional districts and two Black members of Congress elected from Alabama. So our hope is that this remedial plan will finally provide the representation that our clients are entitled to," Ross said.

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
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