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Inside the Statehouse

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The storyline of last
week’s GOP Primary run-
off was the extremely low
turnout. The big surprises
to me were the big vic-
tories by Steve Marshall
for Attorney General and
Martha Roby for Con-
gress. Their winning was
not a surprise; however,
their margin of victory
was impressive.
Going into the runoff
my guess was that which-
ever one won between
Marshall or Troy King,
would win by a narrow
margin. After all they had
arrived at the runoff in a
dead heat of 28 percent
each. It is hard to tell
how Marshall was able
to trounce King by a 62
to 38 margin. The only
logical theory would be
that he got a sympathy
vote from his wife’s death
during the runoff.
King’s filing a suit
over Marshall’s campaign
fundraising, days before
the election, hurt the
former Attorney General.
It made him look like a
loser. Also, it became
apparent to me during
the campaign that both
Marshall and King were
polarizing figures. Folks
either liked them or they
really did not like them.
King obviously made
some enemies and detrac-
tors during his tenure as
Attorney General. As
George Wallace used to
tell me, “More folks vote
against someone than
for someone.” King will
probably be residing in
Buck’s Pocket, politically,
for the rest of his life.
However, he personally
will be a lot better off, es-
pecially financially. Just
ask Jere Beasley.
The Lt. Governor’s
race ended about like I
expected. I thought it
would be close and it
was. It was really the
only nip and tuck battle of
the night. Will Ainsworth
was the big winner of
this 2018 political year.
He went from being a
one term state legislator from Sand Mountain to
Lt. Governor of Alabama.
At age 37, he is now
the youngest among the
major players on the
state political scene. His
narrow but impressive
victory supplants Twinkle
Cavanaugh as the heir
apparent to governor. This
race attracted more money
and attention than is usu-
ally the case, and for good
reason.
Our Lt. Governor has
ascended to Governor
more times than not in
recent decades. If Kay
Ivey is elected Governor,
as expected, she will more
than likely only serve
one four-year term. Will
Ainsworth with his victory
last week has emerged as
one of the favorites in the
2022 Governor’s race.
How did young Ain-
sworth pull off his victo-
ry? If you are an observer
of Alabama politics, you
can see the path clearly.
The more things change
the more they stay the
same. Ainsworth’s calling
card from the get-go was
that he had family money
to spend. Sometimes
people have money and
tout that as an advantage
but, when push comes to
shove, they won’t spend it.
Ainsworth put his money
where his mouth was. He
spent it.
Money is the mother’s
milk of politics. Ain-
sworth did a good days
work when he hired
whoever ran his campaign.
His polling and media
were dead on and out-
standing. His polling and
media people knew when
to go negative and how
much to spend and what
ad would work. Thus, the
truisms came into play.
Number one – money
talks. It is the mother’s
milk of politics. Number
two is more people vote
against someone than for
someone. Thus, negative
advertising works. Third-
ly, people in Alabama vote
for someone from their
neck of the woods. Espe-
cially in secondary races.
Folks, there are a lot
more people and votes
in North Alabama than
South Alabama. There
was a distinct regional
delineation that Ainsworth
was from the north and
Twinkle’s base and home
was in South Alabama.
North Alabama will beat
South Alabama every day
of the week and twice on
Sunday.
Finally, don’t ever run
statewide in Alabama
without the Alfa endorse-
ment. Make no doubt
about it, folks, Alfa is still
the big dog in Alabama
politics. They ran the
table on all the statewide
races in last Tuesday’s
runoff. The Alfa endorse-
ment was the common
thread that appeared in the
final results of all races.
Ainsworth’s name, as
the endorsed candidate
of the Farmers Federa-
tion ballot was without a
doubt the difference in the
10,000-vote margin by
which he edged Twinkle.
In a low turnout race,
the Farmers Federation
endorsement becomes
ever more pronounced
and accentuated. Farmers
vote. They vote Repub-
lican. They vote the Alfa
ballot.
They not only won
every legislative race in
the state that they wanted,
which is their bread and
butter, in addition they
won the statewide offices.
So, you might say they got
their dinner and dessert.
You can probably bet the
family farm that property
taxes will not be raised
in the Heart of Dixie this
next quadrennium.
See you next week.