State Auditor Susan Parker soundly defeated her opponent, attorney Julian McPhillips, in the Democratic runoff to see who would take on incumbent Senator Jeff Sessions in the fall general election. With 87% of the vote counted, Parker had 147,302 votes to McPhillips 67, 840 votes or a percentage of 68% for Parker and 32% for McPhillips.
McPhillips said only, "I want to say it's been a pleasure for me to go and speak out on issues that affect working men and women and injured parties throughout the state of Alabama. I believe these people need an energetic lawyer like me to represent them in Washington. Now they'll have a chance to have someone else."
With her victory, Parker also fired the first shots in her race against Sessions, who is the clear favorite to win re-election in the November election. In her victory remarks, Parker accused Sessions of being in the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies. "There are people in this state who needlessly suffer pain and their prescription drugs are not covered under Medicare for one simple reason, because people like Jeff Sessions have sided with the major drug companies over and over and over again." Watch and Listen 56K 250K
She also quoted figures alleging Sessions had taken $57,000 in campaign contributions from the major drug companies and that this had influenced his votes on prescription drug coverage. "It's about greed and power, and about protecting profits and about ignoring the people, and it's just not right."
Parker seems to see herself as a modern day David taking on Goliath. Standing at the podium Parker pulled out a slingshot and said, "This is a symbol, a symbol for those who stand up for what is right and can overcome the powerful...We've beaten money before and we will do it again."
Parker also claimed Session was in debt to big insurance companies and preferred Enron over education. "The major insurance companies, now they have delivered $97,344 to Jeff Sessions and he voted against a Patients Bill of Rights...Tell them Jeff Sessions ranks 5th when it comes to the amount of money taken from the big insurance companies...Jeff Sessions voted to give Enron a tax cut while voting against fully funding Head Start, against hiring more teachers for rural schools, and against building more classrooms for our crumbling schools."
Parker was outspent by about $1-million by McPhillips and Sessions will not be hurting for campaign financing, he already has almost $3.5 million on-hand according to the Center for Responsive Politics . Parker is listed as having close to $18,000 on-hand.