Shomari Figures Wins Alabama Democratic Primary for 2nd Congressional District

Shomari Figures wins Alabama's 2nd Congressional District Democratic primary, setting up historic general election against Republican Caroleene Dobson in a redrawn district aimed at boosting Black voting power.

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Israel Ojoko
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Shomari Figures Wins Alabama Democratic Primary for 2nd Congressional District

Shomari Figures Wins Alabama Democratic Primary for 2nd Congressional District

The Democratic primary runoff for Alabama's newly redrawn 2nd Congressional District was decided on Tuesday, with Shomari Figures, a former top aide to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, defeating state House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels.

Figures will face Republican nominee Caroleene Dobson, a political newcomer who won her party's nomination over former state Sen. Dick Brewbaker, in the November general election.

The race for the 2nd District, which was redrawn by a federal court to boost the voting power of Black residents, is being closely watched as Democrats aim to flip the seat. If Figures is elected, it will be the first time in history that Alabama, which is about 27% Black, has two Black members in its congressional delegation. The district spans the width of the state and includes Montgomery, parts of Mobile, and rural counties in Alabama's Black Belt.

Why this matters: The outcome of this race could impact the balance of power in the U.S. House of Representatives. The redrawn district is considered Democratic-leaning but not a certainty for the Democratic candidate, and Republicans are hoping to maintain control of the seat.

Figures, the son of two prominent Alabama legislators, previously served as an aide to former President Barack Obama and as deputy chief of staff for Attorney General Garland. His victory in the primary runoff sets up a potentially historic November contest that is regarded as pivotal in the battle for control of the House.

The non-partisan Cook Political Report rated the district as 'likely Democrat,' but Republicans believe they will be competitive in November and have a chance to keep the seat under GOP control. "We feel very confident that we have a candidate that fits this district and will be able to hold the seat," said Alabama Republican Party Chairman John Wahl.

The redrawn 2nd District came about following a legal battle that reached the U.S. Supreme Court. The new district has a Black voting-age population of nearly 50%. Figures and Dobson now have about seven months to make their case to voters in a district that stretches from Montgomery to Mobile and touches the state's border with Georgia. The general election is set for November 5, 2024.

Key Takeaways

  • Shomari Figures won the Democratic primary runoff for Alabama's 2nd Congressional District.
  • Figures will face Republican nominee Caroleene Dobson in the November 2024 general election.
  • The redrawn 2nd District has a Black voting-age population of nearly 50%.
  • The race is considered pivotal in the battle for control of the U.S. House.
  • If Figures wins, Alabama will have two Black members in its congressional delegation.