MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — An Alabama State Senate district that spans Mobile and Baldwin Counties may be one of the few close races on the ballot today. A longtime incumbent Democrat faces a challenge from a conservative activist. Vivian Davis Figures has held this seat for more than 20 years. It’s a solidly democratic area but, thanks to redistricting, Republicans may have a chance to flip it. Figures faces a challenge from Mobile veteran and conservative activist Pete Riehm.

Two years ago such a matchup would be unthinkable. Thanks to redistricting there’s a change of heart. New district lines added a swath of voters in the solidly red Republican area of Spanish Fort to the district. Despite this addition, this is still a predominantly Democratic district that covers Prichard and Mobile’s urban core. Political consultant Jonathan Gray says the Democratic party margins are still comfortable in this district but the GOP does have an outside shot at a flip.

“What I think you’re looking at on the Republican side is whether or not the Democrat’s lack of enthusiasm is greater than the Republican’s optimism across the country,” said Jonathan Gray with Strategy PR. Even if Democrats retain this seat the GOP still has a sizable majority in the Alabama State Senate. This race is significant just given that most of these hyper-local races have the heavy favorites already selected in the party primaries. We spoke with both candidates the weekend before election day.

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