How will the Alabama Senate 26th District special election go on March 2, 2021?
Only the voters of one of Alabama’s largest cities can answer that. In early March, they will. It is not the first state legislative vacancy Alabama is filling in 2021, and it will not be the last.
26th District Special Election 2021: Key Facts
PREVIOUSLY HELD BY: David Burkette (D-Montgomery). He resigned from the Alabama Senate in September 2020 after only having served a little over two years in office. He was the target of an investigation regarding misappropriation of campaign funds from his time in local politics; Burkette’s resignation was negotiated as part of his guilty plea.1
LOCATION: This seat’s anchor is the capital city of Montgomery. Much of the city, including the Alabama State Capitol, is inside its borders. Parts of Pike Road to the southeast are part of the district as well.
POLITICAL COMPOSITION: This is a heavily Democratic district with a majority African-American population. In a state where Republicans dominate overall, Democrats tend to win this seat with ease. The last contested race here in 2018 saw the GOP take just 20 percent of the vote.
WHO’S RUNNING: Kirk Hatcher (D-Montgomery) and William Green (R-Montgomery). Hatcher is a state representative first elected in 2018; he faced no Republican opposition in that race. Green serves on the Montgomery County GOP Executive Committee.
Hatcher went to a runoff to win the Democratic nomination over John Knight; Green was unopposed for the Republican nomination.
About the Alabama Senate
No matter who wins the 26th District race, it will have no impact on the composition of the Alabama State Senate. Republicans currently hold a supermajority in the chamber with 26 out of 33 filled seats; the 26th is one of two vacancies. Alabama’s state senators serve four-year terms, elected parallel with the State House and the governorship. The winner’s next race will be in November 2022 for a full term.
Alabama Senate 26th District Special Election 2021: Analysis
This seat is a Democratic slam dunk. We can try to finesse it and build up suspense, but there is no reason to waste anyone’s time. When opposed, Democrats get over 80 percent of the vote in this district. Donald Trump lost Montgomery County in a landslide in both 2016 and 2020, and this seat includes its most Democratic pockets.
There are plenty of places in Alabama where the GOP does exceptionally well; the 26th Senate District is not one of them.
26th District Special Election Further Reading
- Brad Harper, “Former Alabama Sen. David Burkette gets probation, $3K fine in campaign finance case,” Montgomery Advertiser, 21 September 2020.