Potential Candidates Eye Run for Bonner's Congressional Seat

Potential Candidates Eye Run for Bonner's Congressional Seat

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The list of potential candidates to replace retiring Congressman Jo Bonner is getting longer.

 

Former gubernatorial candidate Bradley Byrne says he's studying a run and is likely to throw his hat in the ring. Byrne is an attorney in Downtown Mobile who has previously won election to the State School Board and to the State Senate.

 

 

"I'm from both sides of the bay," said Byrne. "I have family in Escambia County. I have experience running statewide and covering a big area. I have a ready-made campaign staff."

 

Other who have announced, or who are considering a run are:

State Representative Randy Davis, State Representative Chad Fincher, State Senator Trip Pittman, Mobile County Circuit Judge Ben Brooks, Mobile County Commissioner Connie Hudson, Baldwin County Commissioner Tucker Dorsey, Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kinnon, and Mobile County Sheriff.

 

Political strategist Jonathan Gray worked on more than a hundred campaigns and has worked for more than half of the likely candidates to replace Jo Bonner. He says potential candidates have been busy today gauging support, with an eye toward contributions.

 

"They're shoring up their donors," said Gray. "Money is not the most important thing in a campaign, but it's a great equalizer."

 

Gray says he expects ten to twelve Republican candidates to enter the race but says it's not just about who's running, but who's voting.

 

Gray says the Congressional District has 435,000 registered voters but only 20,000 have voted in all of the last four primaries. Despite the intense public interest now, Gray expects only a 10-15% turnout.

 

"This primary is going to be made up of people who vote in every election and people who are angry and upset about something," said Gray.  "That's what's going to decide our next congressman from this area."

 

Gray says he expects the right wing of the Republican party to dictate the key campaign issues.

 

Governor Robert Bentley said today he will wait until after Bonner leaves office on August 15 to set a date for the special election.

 

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