By Steve Flowers, Guest Columnist
Now that the dust has settled on this year’s elections, let’s look back at who are the big winners and losers of the year.
The obvious winner in the Heart of Dixie is the Republican Party. The GOP retained the reins of the state’s highest office and every other statewide Constitutional position. Kay Ivey was elected governor, overwhelmingly, as was Will Ainsworth as Lt. Governor, John Merrill as Secretary of State, John McMillan as State Treasurer, Rick Pate as Agriculture Commissioner, Jim Ziegler as State Auditor, Jeremy Oden and Chip Beeker as PSC members. Our entire judiciary is Republican, all members of the Supreme Court, and Courts of Criminal and Civil Appeals.
There are 29 statewide office holders and all 29 are Republican. However, more importantly the Legislature is overwhelmingly Republican. More than two-thirds of both the House and the Senate are Republicans. That’s what you call a super majority. Our Republican legislature can pass anything they want without a Democratic vote or letting Democrats speak.
Our Congressional delegation is made up of six Republicans and one lone Democrat. Folks, that makes us a pretty red state.
Several years ago, I had the honor of being a keynote speaker at the Boys State 75th Anniversary. I had attended Boys State 45 years earlier as a high school leader and aspiring young politico. I shared with these future political leaders this advice, “If you plan to run for statewide office in Alabama even if you believe you are a Democrat, you will need to run as a Republican.” This year’s election reaffirmed and confirmed that truth. Winning the GOP Primary in Alabama is tantamount to election.
Therefore, to pick the biggest individual winner of the year, you have to look back to the GOP Primary. Young Will Ainsworth, a 37-year old Sand Mountain Legislator/businessman emerges as the Gold Star award winner of the year in Alabama politics. His victory as Lt. Governor has propelled him onto the state political scene as the most prominent rising star. He was the top vote getter in the state on November 6. He is a clean-cut, successful, family man who has been vetted by a high profile, statewide race.
See complete story in the Pickens County Herald.