Monday, December 1, 2014
The case of the vanishing southern white democrats
Right now in the new Alabama State Legislature there are only 6 white democrats left in both houses. All five in the state house represent districts north of Birmingham. The only female is Patricia Todd who represents a district in downtown Birmingham and is also the only openly gay member in either chamber. The other four are what they call yellow dog democrats. You have Marcel Black from Tuscumbia and Johnny Mack Morrow from Red Bay in the Shoals area. You have Craig Ford from Gadsden and Richard Lindsay from the northeast area of Alabama. The GOP will probably win all four of these seats when those four gentlemen leave. In the Alabama State Senate there's only one white democrat left and thats two term senator Billy Beasley from down in the Montgomery area. He basically is in the same type of situation that Congressman Steve Cohen is in in Memphis. He represents a minority majority district and he benefited in an open race four years ago when a couple of black candidates split the black vote. Since he voted the will of his district over the past four years and provided good constituent service to his district. He was able to sail to re-election this year in a district that is nearly seventy percent black. In Tennessee now, there are only two white democrats left in the State Senate and both of those represent districts in Nashville and Memphis. In all theres only five democrat state senators left in Tennessee now and all five of them represent districts in Nashville and Memphis. In the Tennessee State House, theres only two white democrats left now that represent districts that are west of Nashville. Craig Fitzhugh from Ripley and David Shepherd from Dickson. Mr Shepherd only won by 16 votes last month so thats a seat the GOP will really be after in 2016. You also have a handful of white liberal democrat who represent districts in Nashville. The others are Joe Pitts in Clarksville, John Mark Windle in Livingston and Kevin Dunlap from over on the Cumberland Plateau. The GOP will probably go hard after those three in 2016 as well. Also it'll be interesting to see how white democrats will fare in Mississippi's state legislative elections eleven months from now. This will be the first election they've had since the GOP passed re-districting bill went into effect.