Butler Switching Parties for AL-05 Race

Tom ButlerDemocratic state Senator Tom Butler will announce that he is changing parties and run for the state’s 5th Congressional District seat as a Republican, according to two sources close to the situation. Sen. Butler of Madison is one of the “dissident Democrats” who caucuses with Senate Republicans in a minority coalition.

Many believed that Butler’s differences with Senate Democrats were more personal than political. State Sen. E. B. McClain (D – Midfield) once described Butler’s relationship with the party as wounded. (Another Senate insider described it to the Parlor in much the same way. See also here.) Democrats had hoped that he would return to the party’s mainstream (for example, in 2000 he was an Al Gore delegate to the Democratic convention and in 2004 he endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark) to provide Senate Democrats a 21-vote, “filibuster-proof” majority. Instead, Gov. Bob Riley has apparently welcomed Butler, and Butler has put aside unhappiness he was reported last year to have with Riley, at least to the point that he will run for Congress as a Republican.

Butler is four years older than the man he seeks to replace, Democrat Bud Cramer. If he loses the race, his party switch will not dramatically alter the state Senate landscape since he had caucused with Republicans already, though it will presumably squash Democrats’ efforts to bring him back to the majority caucus.

15 comments to Butler Switching Parties for AL-05 Race

  • Scorpius

    Well, as long as naked ambition isn’t involved here, he’s alright by me.

  • Terry

    Interesting. Would’ve thought Butler had a better chance running as a Dem.

  • InterestedDem

    Switching parties solely to run for Congress? That seems pretty much like naked ambition to me.

  • Mike Ball

    It might seem like naked ambition at first glace, unless one considers that he has been voting consistently with the Senate Republicans for over 5 years and that many of us expected him to switch this summer, anyway.

  • Will

    After seeing what the Democratic Party has become in last year since taking over congress as well as this past weeks horrific examples set by Spitzer, Ferraro, Obama and Wright… I would be switching parties too.

  • JJ

    OHhhh Will the republicans have so many better ones like Craig, Foley, Rev. Ted Haggard! I just schooled you!

  • KansasGirl

    I’m loving the implosion of the Democrat Party!

  • Willie

    I don’t know Tom, but he needs a new head shot, sort of bumpkinish.

  • Mike Ball

    Well, Tom is not just another pretty face, that’s for sure.

  • norm in atmore

    Well, of course, it looks like naked ambition to you, Interested Dem, because it clearly is. And it’s just as natural that Republicans would spin it to be something else.

  • Derrick

    Demcorats should nominate Jeremiah Wright to go against Tom Butler.

  • It looks like Butler will be taking his crusade against dildos to the national stage. Obviously, Congress has been silent on this issue for too long.

  • Anonymous

    Susan Parker is well liked across the board, Dems, Ind.’s, and repub’s. I think she would be the stronger candidate for the Dems. She has also been vetted, if you will, by the Sessions machine in 02 and they found nothing to attack her on.

  • Scorpius

    Memo to the Idiot class:

    I was being facetious.

  • [...] One last note… on the AL-05 Big List, I’m moving Tom Butler’s name from the “In” category to “Serious Buzz,” not to reflect any change in information but because my intention has been to reserve the “In” category for candidates who have publicly made known their candidacies, and in this case I got ahead of myself. For example, though the expectation now is that Parker Griffith will announce his candidacy at 10 a.m. in the morning, anything could happen between now and then and I will move his name after he makes the announcement. The information I have heard about Tom Butler is as strong as it ever was, but I will put him in the “In” category when he publicly announces, as anything could happen between now and then. Who knows – maybe he won’t want to run against John Hannah. [...]

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