Ben Cannatti and Ford O'Connell

If you’re not from Alabama, it might surprise you to know that Democrats control both branches of the state legislature – currently by a margin of 5 seats in the senate and 15 seats in the larger house chamber. If you’re a Republican from Alabama, it probably infuriates you that the Democrats have held a majority in both houses since Ulysses S. Grant was President.

The Alabama Republican Party is pushing hard to make 2010 the year that the tide turns in the Alabama State House (we’ll leave it to Coach Saban to direct the Tide on the gridiron). Coordinating under the theme of “Campaign 2010 - Securing Alabama's Future ,” the state GOP is targeting the lack of transparency and endemic corruption that is strangling the legislature after 136 years of Democratic control. For years, state Democrats have benefited from big war chests funded in part by union supporters. The Republican’s Campaign 2010 project is a concerted multi-million dollar effort to recruit, staff and support enough quality Republican candidates across the state to finally overcome the Democrats’ money wall.

In a year where dissatisfaction with the White House administration and an anti-incumbent fervor are strong, the political winds are in the Republicans’ favor. Add in

the ongoing drama of FBI wiretaps and court-ordered subpoenas of legislators’ bank records and the GOP smells the opportunity to shift the balance of power in Alabama and give the state a more pro-jobs, pro-business trajectory.

One of the races targeted in this effort is the 91st House District, which voted 74.6 percent for McCain in 2008. This district encompasses rural Coffee County in the southeast corner of the state. The Republican nominee for this seat is Barry Moore, a political newcomer, but a fifth-generation Coffee County native. The incumbent, Democrat Terry Spicer, has been in office since 1998, but squeezed out only a 51% win in 2006 (members of both chambers of the Alabama legislature serve a 4 year term).

Ben Cannatti and Ford O'Connell

Ben Cannatti is Political Director of the Republican State Leadership Committee. Ford O'Connell is the co-founder of ProjectVirginia.