PACs representing businesses, insurers, and automobile dealers are already pouring money into the campaigns for most of the Republican candidates seeking appellate court seats in Alabama. Pro-business political action committees, according to disclosure forms, provided some of the largest contributions last year to Republicans Kelli Wise, seeking Place 1 on the Alabama Supreme Court, and Mike Bolin, who wants to return to the High Court. The PAC for the Alabama Independent (insurance) Agents Association and those representing automobile dealers, state retailers and the state forestry association, made substantial contributions to the GOP candidates.
Three seats on the Alabama Supreme Court are on the ballot this year. Justices Bolin and Tom Parker are seeking reelection. Justice Patti Smith won’t seek a second term. The state Court of Criminal Appeals and Court of Civil Appeals each have one seat on the ballot. It appears all of the Republican candidates, with the exception of the Criminal Appeals Court, will be heavily funded by big business PACs. It’s not too hard to figure out why the criminal courts don’t interest those who fund those PACs.
Thus far, Mac Parsons, a circuit court judge in Bessemer, is the sole Democrat to qualify for a seat on the state Supreme Court. Judge Parsons, who has also served in the State Senate, is running for the seat now held by Justice Tom Parker. But at this juncture it doesn’t appear that other Democrats are lining up in great numbers to run for the High Court. Both Wise and Bolin may go back on Court having had no real opposition. Many believe the lack of funding sources could be the main reason for so little interest in the Court races this year. Maybe once things get a little clearer, a few candidates will surface on the Democratic side.
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