Dobson and Figures Win GOP and Democratic Primary Runoffs for Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District

Election Integrity Group Says Tied Election Results Show Need for Ballot Security


Whichever candidate prevails in the general election could affect which party controls the House of Representatives in 2025.

Results for Alabama’s 2nd Congressional district primary runoff election were called shortly before 10 p.m. on April 16, with real estate attorney Caroleene Dobson winning the Republican primary and Shomari Figures, a former top aide to Attorney General Merrick Garland, winning the Democratic primary.

As the GOP’s slim majority in the U.S. House of Representatives shrinks with early retirements from Reps Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc.) and Ken Buck (R-Colo.), Democrats are looking to flip Alabama’s 2nd District in November and inch closer to retaking the House after Republicans narrowly won the body in the 2022 midterm elections.

A crowded field of seven Republicans and 11 Democrats in Alabama’s 2nd District Super Tuesday primary election caused no one candidate to receive more than 50 percent of the vote, triggering a runoff for both parties. The April 16 contest pitted the top two performing candidates in each party against each other.

Ms. Dobson faced off against former state senator Dick Brewbaker in the Republican primary runoff, while Mr. Figures competed against state House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels in the Democratic primary runoff.

Mr. Figures and Ms. Dobson will now challenge each other in November’s general election for Alabama’s 2nd District congressional seat, potentially affecting which party controls the House of Representatives in 2025. Mr. Figures came in first on Super Tuesday for the Democratic primary, while Ms. Dobson came in second behind Mr. Brewbaker.

Ms. Dobson was raised in Monroe County but moved to Texas to practice law. She returned to Alabama in 2019 to work for the Maynard Nexsen law firm and is currently a member of the Alabama Forestry Commission.

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Prior to his work with Mr. Garland, Mr. Figures was an aide to former President Barack Obama, served as domestic director of the Presidential Personnel Office, and was a congressional staffer to Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

Districts Redrawn

A 2023 federal court ruling drew new boundaries for the state’s 2nd District after a lawsuit alleged the state had created “racially gerrymandered” congressional districts that concentrated much of Alabama’s black population in a single district, thus limiting their political influence and potentially violating the Voting Rights Act.

The newly drawn 2nd District stretches across Alabama and includes Mobile, the state capital, Montgomery, and the region’s Black Belt.

The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling that required the state legislature to draw an additional district with a significant number of black voters, which will be in place for the 2024 election.

However, Alabama’s Republican Attorney General Steve Marshall said his office would work to restore the old congressional boundaries for subsequent elections.

Rep. Barry Moore (R-Ala.) currently represents Alabam’s 2nd District but was drawn out of that seat after the districts were overhauled in 2023, which also affected voter demographics. He could have run for the 2nd district seat, but if he had won that race, the congressman would have needed to move into the newly drawn District. The Cook Political Report also rated the 2nd district “likely Democrat” for the November general election.

Instead, Mr. Moore decided to compete against Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Ala.) for his seat in Alabama’s 1st District, which contains more Republicans than the 2nd District. Mr. Moore beat Mr. Carl 51.5 percent to 48.5 percent.

“I’m so proud of our people and our team,” Mr. Moore told The Epoch Times after defeating Mr. Carl on March 5. “The people showed up to help us get through this.”

Mr. Moore will face Tom Holmes in the general election after the Democratic Party canceled its primary for the 1st District. Mr. Holmes was uncontested for the Democratic nomination.

Democrats are looking for a win in both districts to retake control of the House of Representatives, but Mr. Moore has an advantage in the Republican-leaning 1st District while Democrats retain an advantage in the 2nd District.

If Mr. Figures, who is black, defeats Ms. Dobson in November, Alabama will have two black congressional representatives for the first time in state history. The other is Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), who represents Alabama’s 7th District and is the first black woman to serve in the state’s congressional delegation.

The Epoch Times reached out to Ms. Dobson and Mr. Figures for comment.

Austin Alonzo and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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