Stacy McCain beat me to the punch. My next post was going to be about the Alabama results. Yes, party switchers and Washington establishment choices got spanked. That’s probably good — although, frankly, I would have liked to see Les Phillip take the nomination from party-switching Parker Griffith. Nothing against Mo Brooks, other than that I don’t think the Fair Tax is politically feasible or politically wise, but I have a soft spot for self-made, legally naturalized citizens who served honorably in our armed forces and developed conservative ideals while forging a successful career — people like Les Phillip, apparently, although I only know about him what I read in the papers. Anyway, Brooks is an accomplished conservative, too, and should be a good congressman if he wins in the fall.
Now, allow me to mourn the loss of Artur Davis for the Dem nomination for governor. While Davis clearly is not as conservative as he campaigned — yes, he positioned himself for the conservative general election campaign before securing his Dem primary — he also is legitimately a moderate liberal, not a lefty, and he is earnest and thoughtful and appears to be honest. He also was the only Democrat who had the grace to own up to having been mistaken about Fannie and Freddie (in the infamous hearing where Dems beat up on those who demanded greater oversight and greater reins on the two government-backed financial institutions), and to apologize for it. The Barney Franks of the world still haven’t acknowledged their serious errors on this front, but David did. Anyway, it is a crying shame to see such a big loss by a thoughtful, intellectual, black moderate who dared to buck the groupthink of the black political bosses. We need people like that to be rewarded, not punished. He would never have been my choice in the general election, but he would have been no disaster. The Dem winner, Ron Sparks, always has struck me as sleazy, and he was utterly in hock to the unions and the left wing. Artur Davis is a better man than he.
Now, as for the GOP race for governor, which Stacy doesn’t mention. I clearly favored former state senator and former two-year-college chief Bradley Byrne, and he made the runoff with 28 percent of the vote. Stacy’s guy Tim James (son of former Gov. Fob James), who really turned me off in my years in Mobile, looks to have barely missed the runoff by about 140 votes to late-surging conservative state Sen. (and medical doctor) Robert Bentley…. but there almost certainly will be a runoff. Any of them will enter the general election as the favorite over Sparks, but Sparks has a populist touch and cannot be taken lightly. UPDATE: FINAL UNOFFICIAL RESULTS, pending recount: Bentley leads for the second runoff spot by 208 votes.
Finally, GREAT news in the race for attorney general. Republican incumbent Troy King has been such a disappointment that his affable and intelligent opponent, Luther Strange, earned the support of both U.S. Senators, Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions, along with the tacit support of just about every other major Republican office-holder. Strange absolutely routed King in the primary, and will be favored in the general election. This is good news. Strange also is a personal friend of the estimable Fred Barnes, our famous conservative comrade-in-arms at the Weekly Standard. He could be real rising star for conservatives.
So, all in all, not a bad night, although the Davis loss was a bummer…..