MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — While all 140 seats in Alabama’s State House are on the ballot Tuesday, few races are highly contested.
In the House, just 25 out of 105 seats have both a Republican and Democrat running, and in the Senate, eight of 35 races have both major party candidates on the ballot.
Of those races, some of the more competitive districts are in the Huntsville area. In House District 25 in Madison County, Republican Phillip Rigsby and Democrat Mallory Hagan go head-to-head for the seat being left by House Speaker Mac McCutcheon.
Senate District 2 in Limestone and Lauderdale Counties between incumbent Republican Tom Butler and Democratic challenger Kim Lewis could also be a shakeup because of redistricting changes.
“What’s happened in Huntsville, it’s really a microcosm of the entire country. You have folks from Pennsylvania, Michigan, California living there that are used to voting Democratic,” Political Analyst Steve Flowers said.
Flowers is also watching Senate District 33 in Baldwin County, where incumbent Democrat Vivian Figures is being challenged by Pete Riehm in a redrawn distract that may no longer be safely blue.
“During reapportionment, they sent some of those Republicans into her Democratic district, which has made her district a possible swing district,” Flowers said.
In House District 74 in Montgomery County, incumbent Republican Charlotte Meadows is facing Democrat Phillip Ensler. Flowers says it’s another district whose future is uncertain due to redistricting.
By and large though, most statehouse seats this election aren’t competitive. In all, majority of house (55/105 districts) and senate races (18/35 districts) have just one candidate on the ballot.
Alabama State University History and Political Science Professor Howard Robinson says that’s due in part to how the districts are drawn.
“Part of our politics and part of our electoral landscape is driven by the way these districts have been created,” Robinson said.
Robinson says there are still plenty of local offices on the ballot that matter when it comes to things like education, police protection and roadwork in your community.
“This is a time of year you have an opportunity to make your voice heard as to who’s going to make these types of decisions in the best interest of not only your community but the larger community,” Robinson said.
The candidates who win will head to Montgomery for the next legislative session in March 2023.