Artur Davis could be Alabama’s first black governor. His fate will be in part sealed by the voters in Tuesday’s primary. If Davis, 42, wins he will be the Democratic candidate for the state’s highest office in November.
If Davis wins, he will have done so without the support and endorsement of the State’s leading civil rights organizations. In what has been described as Obama-style coalition campaigning, Davis did not court those endorsements and as a result the Alabama Democratic Conference and the Alabama New South Coalition endorsed white Democratic rival, Ron Sparks. USA Today reports,
Davis recently told the Associated Press that he skipped the groups’ screening process to “take my case directly to African-American voters,” who make up about half of the Democratic primary vote.
Rep. Davis has another, perhaps more substantial, hurdle to jump for a victory. He voted against the president’s health care reform bill leading critics to claim he did so to gain white voter support at the expense of a poor, black constituency.
And if that’s not enough, only one of the last six governors has been a Democrat.
Voters will determine if Alabama is ready for change in the governor’s mansion.