Friday, August 16, 2013

Better know a district: Alabama's 1st

In the same manner of Stephen Colbert's "Better Know a District" segments on the Colbert Report, I have decided to keep a record of the various Congressional districts and members of Congress, as best as I can.

Location: Baldwin, Escambia, Mobile, Monroe, and Washington counties.  It includes parts of Clarke county, as well.

Population: 635,000

Median income: $34,739

Ethnicity: 67.8% White, 28% Black, 1.3% Hispanic, 1% Asian, 1% Native American, 1% Other

Presidential Election Results:
2000: George W. Bush: 60% Al Gore: 38%
2004: George W. Bush: 64% John Kerry: 35%
2008: John McCain: 61% Barack Obama: 39%
2012: Mitt Romney: 62% Barack Obama 37%

Current Representative: Vacant

Previous Representative: Jo Bonner (2003-2013)

Jo Bonner resigned from his seat on August 2, 2013 to become the vice-chancellor of the University of Alabama system.  Bonner's closest call after being elected was the 2004 election when he received 63% of the vote. 

Fun fact #1: His real name is Josiah.

Bonner sat on the House Appropriations Committee and was the Chairman on the House Ethics Committee.  Bonner was considered one of the more Conservative members of the House of Representatives, he received a score of 88% from the American Conservative Union for his lifetime score.  His score suffered slightly because of his votes for the bank bailouts plan.

The state of Alabama has announced that the special election will be held to fill the vacant seat on November 5, 2013.  Due to the conservativism of the district, it will most certainly be a Republican (as no Democrats even garnered enough signatures to run in 2012).  But who are the potential candidates to fill in this seat?

In 2012, three challengers emerged to try and unseat Jo Bonner.  They failed but it is expected that they will try again in 2013 to fill the seat.  Here are the potential challengers:

Dean Young, businessman who owns four companies.  He has served as Orange Beach Planning and Zoning Commissioner and is a former aide to to former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore.  Young is a fiscal conservative who was endorsed by the Conservative website RedState, where they called him the only candidate who has spent money who is more Conservative than Bonner. He is a pro-life candidate who wants to cut taxes and regulations.  Additionally, he wants to repeal Obamacare and spoke at a Tea Party sponsored event where he called for the impeachment of Barack Obama.  Young ran for Alabama's Secretary of State in 2002 and ran for Lieutenant Governor in 2010.  In the 2012 Republican primary, he received 24% of the vote.

Pete Riehm, is a real estate agent in Mobile, Alabama.  Riehm is a fiscal conservative, as well.  He believes government should get out of the way on the economy and that jobs should only be created in the private sector.  He is pro-life and wishes that DOMA was upheld.  He would like to repeal Obamacare but protect and reform Social Security.  He also wants to protect 2nd Amendment rights and uphold the 10th Amendment reaffirming states' rights.  He also believes that we should be using our oil and gas.  At the same Tea Party sponsored event that Dean Young appeared, Riehm also appeared.  He received 15% of the vote in the 2012 Republican primary.

Peter Gounares, is a real estate broker in Orange Beach, Alabama. Gounares believes in the Fair Tax.  When running in 2012, he espoused his ideas on what he thoughr were the biggest issues.  They mainly focused on the economy, believing that we need to cut federal spending and we can't borrow our way out of debt.  He believes that we should doing an all-of-the-above energy plan.  He also believes in a term limit for members of Congress.  Gounares declined to call for the impeachment of Barack Obama.  On his website, he did not call for the repeal of Obamacare.  He received 4% of the vote in the 2012 Republican Primary.

Out of those three, it seems more likely that Dean Young will be the one who represents Alabama's 1st Congressional district after the special election.  Based on how Conservative the district is, I would be shocked to see anyone else winning the district.  Young should be able to hold office if he is elected for awhile.

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