Alabama voters were not ready for the type of change Artur Davis represented. Last night, the man who could have potentially been the first black governor of Alabama lost to Alabama State Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks.
Sparks enjoyed and maintained an early lead in the race against Davis, who wanted to take his campaign directly to African American voters. Patterning a strategy much like his friend and former Harvard classmate, Barack Obama, Davis met a severe amount of challenges that included Sparks’ endorsement by two of the state’s most influential civil rights groups. In the end, it could have been his decision to side with House Republicans and not back the president’s health care bill that dashed any hope he had of becoming governor.
Early results showed Davis losing heavily in the congressional district he represents. The 7th Congressional District is predominately black, decidedly liberal and one of the hardest hit during the recession. It is also a district that has one of the highest voter turnout records in the state.
Ron Sparks won an early victory, but the seven GOP candidates did not fare as well. The top two candidates will square off on July 13 in a runoff election.
Artur Davis is currently serving his fourth term in Congress and his seat will go to the winner of a runoff in July.