ALFA’s Farm-PAC advisory trustees met this week to recommend candidates for the entire Farmers Federation to endorse. ALFA’s Farmers Federation Board of Directors will meet next week to formalize (or not) the endorsements. No announcement will be made until the endorsements are made final, but the Parlor has been able to scope out some of the recommendations.
ALFA’s endorsement means a bit more than most in that it comes from one of the state’s political heavyweights that has significant membership in counties across the state.
Again, these are recommendations, and ultimately the Board may decide to sit out some of these races, particularly if the trustees were divided. It is hard to imagine that the Board would endorse another candidate in a race than the one recommended by its PAC’s advisory trustees.
So what are we hearing?
Governor – No recommendation
The Ron Sparks campaign has to be disappointed not to be recommended for an endorsement given the good relationship Sparks and ALFA have had in Sparks’ tenure as Agriculture Commissioner when he received their endorsement in both of his races (in 2002 and 2006). On the other hand, ALFA is generally Republican leaning enough that he is probably pleased that Robert Bentley did not get the recommendation either. ALFA’s Farmers Federation did not endorse in this race in 2006 either when Riley faced Lucy Baxley.
Lt. Governor – Kay Ivey (R)
The Parlor hears that the trustees narrowly recommended Ivey for endorsement over Jim Folsom. Folsom’s campaign no doubt hopes that the Board decides to sit out this race as it did in the 2006 LG race between Folsom and Luther Strange.
Attorney General – Luther Strange (R)
Make of this what you will, but the version heard here is that the trustees initially decided this week to make no recommendation in this race between Strange and Democrat James Anderson. ALFA apparently is not a big Strange fan in that they did not endorse him in 2006 for LG, and in the AG primary this year ALFA endorsed incumbent Troy King over Strange. After the initial decision to make no recommendation, I am told, they reconsidered and recommended Strange to the Board for endorsement.
Commissioner of Agriculture & Industries – John McMillan (R)
Democrat Glen Zorn had strong supporters in the room, but the trustees apparently decided to mend fences with McMillan, who is likely to be a strong favorite in November, after snubbing McMillan in favor of Dorman Grace in the primary.
PSC, Place 1 – Jan Cook (D)
ALFA has supported Democrat Jan Cook at the PSC in other election cycles, yet we hear that the decision to recommend her this year over Republican Twinkle Cavanaugh was a contentious and difficult one. Might the Board ultimately decide not to make an endorsement?
PSC, Place 2 – Susan Parker (D)
In 2006, ALFA endorsed Perry Hooper, Jr. over Parker for what was then an open seat.
We heard no word about any other races than these. Endorsements for state legislative races will be considered later.
Again, ALFA Farmers Federation will make the final determination on these recommendations when its Board meets next week.