Can a black person be elected as Alabama's governor?

Artur Davis is fighting for the Democratic nomination to be Alabama's next governor.
Artur Davis is fighting for the Democratic nomination to be Alabama's next governor.

Posted by: Eileen Jones - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - With a little less than two and a half weeks to go before the June 1st primary, the Democratic race for governor is getting more racy. The issue of race has come up again. This time the head of the black political group the Alabama Democratic Conference says the black candidate can't win in Alabama because of his race.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Artur Davis has attended events in the past sponsored by the Alabama Democratic Conference but not this year. ADC is meeting this weekend to screen candidates and announce its endorsements and Davis says he has decided not to participate. ADC's Joe Reed talked about what that means.  "The body has an option to endorse Governor Sparks. I mean Commissioner Sparks, or it could not. I would suspect the organization will take a position but that's not automatic."

The other gubernatorial candidate Ron Sparks does plan to be there but Davis has told the black political groups, not only will he not attend their screenings, he says doesn't need their endorsement. Reed had a response to that. "The mere fact that he is black, he's going to get some black votes and the mere fact that he is black he's going to miss some white votes. He has gambled on the fact that he'd rather go for the white vote than the black vote."

Reed says a no-show means no endorsement; however, in a press release Davis says"The African American voters who will participate in the primary need no permission, and no sample ballots to decide who they favor in the governor's race." "Reed says without the black vote he doesn't see how Artur can win the Governor's race. "You've told blacks already - I don't want the black vote.  Now,.....that's your base vote. That's the base vote for any democrat who runs for office. So, you repudiate that and then you come back. Where (are) you going to get your white votes from? Don Siegelman, all these guys, Paul Hubbert, all of them who ran as democratic nominees didn't get enough votes to win. Now, how is he going to get more votes than they got?"

Reed also says Davis should not use President Barrack Obama as a barometer because he says Obama only got 10% of the white vote in Alabama.

Davis responded saying Reed and Sparks are in for a "....rude awakening" on June 1st the day of the Democratic primary.

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