Alabama Legislature

Who’s Running? 2022 Alabama House Races Update

Alabama Seal

There are about 20 open Alabama House seats ahead of the 2022 election cycle and several incumbents have announced primary challengers. Here’s an update on who is and isn’t running. Candidates have until Jan. 28 to qualify. Meanwhile, legislative districts could change, some likely significantly, when lawmakers later this month or early next month redraw lines with new census data.

GOP Rematch in HD73?

Recently elected Rep. Kenneth Paschal, R-Pelham, may again face Republican Leigh Hulsey of Helena for House District 73 seat in Shelby County.

Paschal defeated Hulsey in a special GOP runoff in April, getting 63 more votes than her for 51%. He then beat the Democrat in the general election.

Now, both Paschal and Hulsey are raising money for 2022. As of the end of September, Paschal had about $15,500 on hand; Hulsey had $48,300.

Hulsey on Tuesday told Alabama Daily News that the district lines may change, but she is committed to running in 2022 regardless.

Rafferty Continues Fundraising 

On the Democrats’ side of the House aisle, incumbent House member Rep. Neil Rafferty of Birmingham has made fundraising gains since being challenged by Brit Blalock.

Rafferty has raised more than $75,000 as he seeks to keep the Birmingham seat. Blalock has raised a bit more than $13,000.

2 Republicans Raising Money for Seat Rowe Leaving

Two-term House member Rep. Connie Rowe, R-Jasper, recently announced she will not seek a third term and, instead, will join Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth’s staff as an adviser in January.

Per state law, there won’t be a special election to replace her in the last session of the quadrennium and the House District 13 seat will be vacant in the 2022 regular session.

So far, two Republicans are raising money in the 2022 race, according to campaign finance documents filed with the Alabama Secretary of State.

Walker County Commissioner and Realtor Keith Davis last month kicked off fundraising with a $100,000 loan to his campaign.

Matthew Woods, a Jasper business owner and member of the appointed Alabama Community College System board of trustees, loaned his campaign $25,000 last month and raised about $28,000.

Rowe is no longer raising money but still has about $100,000 in her campaign finance account. She can dissolve the account or save the funds for a future run.

2 Challenging Parker Moore in North Alabama

Rep. Parker Moore, R-Hartselle, has two GOP challengers raising money for the May 24 primary.

Decatur business owner Patrick Johnson of Decatur has raised nearly $29,000 since announcing over the summer his candidacy. He has $26,000 on hand at the end of September, according to campaign finance report information.

Moore, who first won a special election in 2017 to replace former Rep. Micky Hammon and then won a full-term in 2018, had about $50,000 on hand.

Sheila Banister of Madison has a master’s degree in organizational management. Her website says she’s a military wife and business consultant. September was her first month reporting contributions, raising $650.

House District 4 includes portions of Morgan and Limestone counties.

Huntsville Pharmacy Owner Seeking Seat McCutcheon Leaving

Another high-profile name not seeking reelection is Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon, R-Monrovia. McCutcheon was first elected in 2006 to the district that includes eastern Limestone County and portions of Madison County.

So far, Republican Phillip Rigsby, a pharmacy owner from Huntsville, is the lone candidate raising funds.

In his July campaign announcement, Rigsby said he has the utmost respect for McCutcheon.

“I want to carry on the legacy and groundwork he has laid for our district,” Rigsby said. “As your next representative I will make sure we continue to receive our fair share of funding from Montgomery for our roads, infrastructure and schools.”

House District 25 covers parts of Limestone and Madison counties.

Rich Not Running

Rep. Kerry Rich, R-Albertville, will not seek another term next year. This week, he said he’d have an official announcement Oct. 19.

Brock Colvin, also of Albertville and a member of the Marshall County Republican Party, announced his candidacy this week.

“I believe I bring the conservative philosophy and energy to represent the people of Marshall and Dekalb counties,” the financial planner said in a written statement.

As of last month, no one had filed with the secretary of state to raise funds in a bid for the north Alabama seat.

Elmore County Commissioner running in HD31

Also not running is Rep. Mike Holmes, R-Wetumpka. He was first elected in a 2014 special election.

“I’m a term limits believer,” Holmes told Alabama Daily News. “I think I’ve had enough and done enough. It’s time to turn it over to younger hands.”

So far, Elmore County Commission Chairman Troy Stubbs is the only announced candidate for House District 31.

Stubbs, a Republican from Wetumpka, is a financial adviser, and he and wife Jenny own Frios Gourmet Pops. At the end of September, Stubbs had more than $48,000 in his campaign fund.

GOP Challenger in HD38

First-term incumbent Rep. Debbie Wood, R-Valley, has a challenger in the GOP primary, Micah Messer of Smiths Station. At the end of September, Wood had $29,600 on hand, Messer had $19,500.

House District 38 includes parts of Chambers and Lee counties.

Greer Has Primary Challenger

Long-time state Rep.Lynn Greer, R-Rogersville, is now among GOP incumbents who has a primary opponent next year.

Kimberly Butler, a life-long north Alabama resident, said she is a liberty-minded candidate.

“I will fight not only to cut taxes but to use the taxes we have more wisely,” Butler told Alabama Daily News on Wednesday. “We spend money in Montgomery like we’ve forgotten what the purpose of government is. And it’s not to care for or fix all problems. The purpose of government is to create a playing field where we can do that ourselves.”

She compared her mindset to that of current Rep. Andrew Sorrell, who is a consistent no vote on tax or spending bills.

Butler and her husband own and run Butler Studio Photography in Florence and have two children whom Butler homeschooled.

Greer’s State House career started in 1974, though he’s held other elected offices.

“I think I’ve been very successful in Montgomery and there are a few other things I’d like to do,” Greer said.

Greer recently discussed with Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, legislation to cut taxes for some retirees, something Greer has pushed for several years.

Citing the recent killing of Sheffield Police Sgt. Nick Risner, Greer said he’s working on legislation that would prevent convicted murderers from getting out of prison too soon.

Greer owns Greer Construction and Greer Management.

At the end of September, Butler had about $9,500 on hand; Greer had $9,200.

House District 2 includes portions of Lauderdale and Limestone counties.

House District 88 Fundraising Belongs to 2 Challengers

In another contested GOP primary, House candidates Joshua Pendergrass and Jerry Starnes ended September with $22,639 and $28,442, respectively.

Both men are seeking to unseat incumbent Rep. Will Dismukes, R-Prattville. Dismukes has said he is seeking reelection but so far hasn’t filed a monthly campaign finance report. He ended 2020 with $15,286 on hand, according to his last annual report.

Pendergrass is a lawyer and former communications director for Gov. Kay Ivey. Starnes is Prattville City Council president.

Dismukes, a business owner, was indicted earlier this year on a theft charge related to a previous employer. He has said he’s innocent. The freshman lawmaker last year faced public criticism and calls for resignation for speaking at a birthday party honoring Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, who later co-founded the Ku Klux Klan.

House District 88 includes parts of Elmore and Autauga counties.