President and Vice President:
Donald Trump and Mike Pence are the respective Republican party nominees for president and vice president.
Their platform emphasizes the idea of “America First,” focusing largely on issues related to the economy, foreign policy and immigration.
Some of the main policies implemented throughout the Trump administration’s first term have included withdrawing from the Iran Nuclear Deal, withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, establishing the Space Force as a military branch and constructing and securing funding to construct 445 miles of a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, in addition to implementing other stricter immigration policies. There was also the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which lowered tax rates for individuals and corporations and was one of the most major changes to U.S. tax code in three decades.
Additionally, there have been three Supreme Court appointments and more than 200 federal judge appointments under the Trump Administration.
However, the Trump Administration has elicited significant criticism since 2016 for their usage of ICE detention centers, implementation of Executive Order 13769—which placed a travel ban on many Middle Eastern and majority-Muslim nations, his lack of condemnation towards white supremacy groups, potential collusion with Russia during the 2016 campaign cycle and, more recently, their handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, Trump was impeached in December 2019 due to allegations that the Trump campaign collaborated with Ukrainian authorities to influence the 2016 election.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris make up the Democratic party ticket. Biden formerly served as vice president during the Obama presidency, as well as senator for Delaware. Harris has previously served as San Francisco district attorney, California attorney general and senator of California, and also ran against Biden earlier in the 2020 election cycle.
The Biden platform’s main focus is being the antithesis of the Trump campaign. This cumulates into his major campaign stances centering on reversing Trump-era immigration policies, embracing policies to reduce and counteract the effects of climate change, building onto the Affordable Care Act and eliminating college debt for borrowers with an annual income lower under $125,000.
However, both Biden and Harris have been subject to scrutiny from both Republicans and Democrats. In March 2020, former Senate staff assistant Tara Reade alleged that Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993 while she was working in his office. Biden denied these allegations. During her presidential campaign, Harris faced criticism for the criminal justice policies she enforced during her time serving as DA and California attorney general. Additionally, the Biden ticket has faced scrutiny from many young voters for not being progressive enough, as compared to other Democratic presidential candidates such as Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Jo Jorgenson and Jeremy “Spike” Cohen are the Libertarian party nominees. Jorgenson previously worked as a marketing representative and founded a consulting company. She also served as Greenville County chair, state vice chair and national marketing director for the Libertarian Party, in addition to running for South Carolina’s 4th Congressional District in 1992 and vice president in 1996. Cohen has worked as a web designer and podcaster and been involved with the Libertarian Party for several years. He was the proposed running mate of 2020 Libertarian presidential candidate, Vermin Supreme, and was actively involved in Supreme’s campaign.
The Jorgenson ticket focuses on being an alternative to the Republican and Democratic candidates, in addition to Libertarian policies such as reducing government spending by reducing the size of the government. Overall, the Jorgenson campaign centers on reducing the influence of the federal government in most aspects of life, such as criminal justice and gun regulation.
Jorgenson also expressed her disdain with the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, calling preventative policies such as stay-at-home orders and mask mandates, “the biggest assault on our liberties in our lifetime.” She characterized the government response to the pandemic as authoritarian. She also said that market competition would lead to mask-wearing to being widely adopted anyways, making governmental orders unnecessary.
Former college football coach Tommy Tuberville is the Republican nominee for the Alabama Senate seat. Tuberville won in a run-off election against Jeff Sessions in July following the primary elections.
Tuberville’s campaign centers on his position as a political outsider, as well as his platform of conservative values. Tuberville claims that the core values of his campaign focus on protecting “individual liberties” by advocating for “smaller government, less taxes, and our national sovereignty.”
Additionally, Tuberville has expressed his admiration for President Trump and claims that he would help Trump “secure the border, protect life, and get folks back to work.”
Doug Jones is currently the junior senator. Jones is the first Democrat senator to represent Alabama since 1992, after defeating Roy Moore in a 2017 special election. Additionally, Jones served as staff counsel for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama.
Jones’s campaign has centered largely on ideas of unity and bipartisanship. Additionally, Jones has focused on expanding access to Medicaid, prompted largely by the COVID-19 pandemic. He alleges that his opponent, Tuberville, wants to cut funding for Medicare and remove protections for those with existing conditions.
House of Representatives
Jerry Carl is the Republican nominee for District 1 representative. Carl was involved in a run-off election against Bill Hightower in July following the primary elections. Carl has previously served as Mobile County Commissioner.
Carl’s campaign focuses mostly on enforcing President Trump’s policies, as well as emphasizing his “Conservative Christian views.” Carl’s main policy positions focus on “protecting the 2nd Amendment,” pro-life views, building a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, lowering tax rates and decreasing government spending.
James Averhart is the Democrat nominee for District 1 representative. Averhart won in a run-off election against Kiani Gardner in July following the primary elections. Averhart has previously served in the U.S. Marine Corps, as well as working as president and CEO of the J.T. Averhart Group, a non-profit that helps ex-inmates reenter society.
Averhart’s campaign focuses largely on topics such as education, criminal justice reform and racial justice—with Averhart’s campaign website saying that protecting civil rights is “one of the most important responsibilities for Members of Congress.” His campaign also focuses on working on bipartisan unity in lawmaking, with his website saying that he will “remain committed to reaching across the aisles” and “working with all political affiliations.”
Barry Moore is the Republican nominee for District 2 representative. Moore has previously represented District 91 in the Alabama House of Representatives. He also ran for this position in 2018.
Moore’s campaign focuses mostly on his conservative views, with Moore claiming that he has been rated the most conservative lawmaker in Alabama and that he was the first elected public official to endorse the Trump presidential campaign in 2015. His policies would center on lowering taxes and decreasing the scope of government regulations.
Phyllis Harvey-Hall is the Democrat nominee for District 2. Hall has previously run as a representative for the Montgomery Board of Education and has worked as an elementary school teacher for 25 years.
Hall’s platform emphasizes her desire to amplify to concerns of working- and middle-class citizens. Hall’s campaign also focuses on issues relating to better healthcare, equity in the education system, increasing minimum wage and rural development.
Mike Rogers is the Republican incumbent District 3 representative for the U.S. House. Rogers has held this position since 2003.
Rogers campaign focuses on “fighting for a secure homeland,” advocating for strengthening national defense and reducing the scope of the federal government. Rogers also emphasizes his admiration of President Trump and the Trump administration’s agenda. Additionally, Rogers has co-sponsored two bills that would defund Planned Parenthood as well as prohibit the Department of Health and Human Services from providing assistance to any entity that performs abortions.
Dr. Adia Winfrey is the Democratic nominee for District 3 representative. Winfrey has worked as psychologist, as well as founding the Healing Young People thru Empowerment movement, a hip-hop based group therapy program for arrested juveniles.
Winfrey is running on a platform she refers to as the “AEIOU platform” to include the main issues of agriculture, education, innovation, opportunity and unity. She emphasizes that she is focused on amplifying Alabama citizens’ voices.
Robert Aderholt is the Republican incumbent District 4 representative. Aderholt has held this position since 1997 and is the second-longest serving member of an Alabama congressional delegation.
Aderholt’s campaign focuses on upholding religious freedom, conservative “family values,” gun rights, decreasing government spending and agriculture. Additionally, Aderhold also co-sponsored two bills that would defund Planned Parenthood as well as prohibit the Department of Health and Human Services from providing assistance to any entity that performs abortions.
Rick Neighbors is the Democrat nominee for District 4 representative. Neighbors has served in the Army and has worked as a consultant and project manager.
Neighbors’s platform focus on only a few issues: improving education, embracing global trade and backing the Affordable Care Act, with Neighbors saying that “The Affordable Care acts moves us towards universal healthcare and the adoption of a single-payer system.” Neighbors has also been endorsed by the Alabama AFL-CIO labor union.
Mo Brooks is the Republican District 5 representative in the U.S. House, who is running unopposed for reelection. Brooks has held this position since 2011.
Brooks’s platform focuses on enforcing conservative values. Brooks has co-sponsored two bills to defund Planned Parenthood as well as prohibit the Department of Health and Human Services from providing assistance to any entity that performs abortions. Brooks is also member of the House Freedom Caucus, a caucus within the House of Representatives that focuses on championing conservative views.
Brooks has previously faced controversy for claiming in a 2014 radio interview that the Democrat Party was launching a “war on whites.” Brooks never apologized for his statements and went on to back them up in later interviews while also claiming that he “does not believe in racism.”
Gary Palmer is the incumbent Republican District 6 representative in the U.S. House. Palmer has held this position since 2015. He has also been a leader at the Alabama Policy Institute, an organization that works to “identify, develop and promote sound public policies that emphasize a limited government, free markets, the rule of law and strong families,” for 24 years.
Palmer’s platform focuses on cutting government spending, reducing the scope of the federal government, replacing the Affordable Care Act with a healthcare act that “puts people back in charge of their health care decisions” and introducing pro-life legislation. Palmer has also co-sponsored two bills to defund Planned Parenthood as well as prohibit the Department of Health and Human Services from providing assistance to any entity that performs abortions.
Teri Sewell is the Democrat District 7 representative in the U.S. House running for reelection unopposed. Sewell has held this position since 2011 and, in this time, has served on the Committee of Ways and Means and Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. She is also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and the New Democrat Coalition.
Sewell’s platform centers on economic development, improving national infrastructure, protecting the Affordable Care Act, preserving historic sites—as highlighted through her previous work to secure funding and grants to help preserve historic sites in Selma, restoring the Voting Rights Act and expanding Social Security Benefits. Sewell’s campaign also emphasizes connecting with constituents, highlighting that she holds “annual town hall meetings in each of the 14 counties in her district.”
Public Service Commissioner:
Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh is the incumbent Republican public service commissioner running for reelection. Cavanaugh has held this position since 2010. Cavanaugh is also co-owner of Cavanaugh Bradley Animal Hospital and co-owner of Conservative Solutions, a political consulting firm.
Cavanaugh’s platform works to implement conservative policy making within the Public Service Commission by reducing the size of the Commission and pushing against Environmental Protection Agency regulations. Her platform also focuses on lowering the cost of utilities for Alabama citizens.
Laura Casey is the Democrat nominee for this seat. Casey is a former actuary and attorney. Casey has also sued the Alabama Public Service Commission before, after being kicked out of a public hearing and having her phone taken away for livestreaming the hearing.
Casey’s platform centers on transparency between the Public Service Commission and Alabama Citizens—with Casey claiming that the Commission has been “overcharging us by the billions.” She looks to implement more meaningful energy regulations, reduce the monopolization of utilities within the state and implement more eco-friendly regulations.
State Board of Education:
Jackie Zeigler is the incumbent Republican representative for District 1. Zeigler has held this seat since 2017. Before holding this position, Zeigler worked as a teacher and principal within the Mobile County Public School System.
Tom Holmes is the Democrat nominee for the seat. Holmes has previously worked as a teacher in the Mobile County Public School System.
Stephanie Bell is the incumbent Republican representative for District 3. Bell has held this position since 1995, making her the longest serving member of the board, and has also held the position of school board Vice President twice. During her time on the board, Bell has implemented the Alabama Reading Initiative and Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative.
Jarralynne Agee is the Democrat party nominee for the District 3 seat. Agee currently serves as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Miles College.
Lesa Keith is the Republican nominee for the State Board of Education’s District 5 seat. Keith has previously served as a member of the Montgomery County School Board.
Dr. Tonya Smith Chestnut is the Democrat nominee for the seat. Chestnut has worked in education for 36 years, holding positions Alabama Reading Initiative Principal Coach and School Improvement Principal Coach.
Belinda Palmer McRae is the Republican nominee for the State Board of Education’s District 7 seat. McRae has served on the Marion County Board of Education for 15 years. Her platform focuses on ensuring every child in Alabama has access to quality education and taking steps to combat the cycle of poverty within the state. McRae is running unopposed.
State Supreme Court:
Greg Shaw is a current judge on the Alabama Supreme Court running for reelection. Shaw has held this position since 2008. Shaw has been shown to have a conservative leaning ideology based on campaign contributions made by Shaw in a Stanford University study. Shaw is running unopposed.
Brad Mendheim is an Alabama Supreme Court judge running for reelection. Mendheim was appointed by Gov. Kay Ivey to fill two different vacancies in January 2018 and again in December 2018. Mendheim is running unopposed.
Intermediate Appellate Courts:
Court of Civil Appeals Place 1:
William Thompson is a judge on the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals running for reelection. Thompson has held this position since 1996 and is a registered Republican. He is running unopposed.
Court of Civil Appeals Place 2:
Matt Fridy is running for judge of the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals. Fridy currently serves in the Alabama House of Representatives, as a Republican representative for District 73. Fridy is running unopposed.
Court of Criminal Appeals Place 1:
Mary Becker Windom is a judge on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals running for reelection. Windom has held this position since 2008 and was elected presiding judge of the court in 2012. Windom is running unopposed.
Court of Criminal Appeals Place 2:
J. Elizabeth Kellum is a judge on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals running for reelection. Kellum has held this position since 2008. Kellum was involved in a Republican party run-off for the position against Will Smith this past July. She is running unopposed.
Amendment 1 would change the wording of the Alabama State Constitution from its current wording, that “every citizen” of the U.S. who is 18 years or older can vote in Alabama, to “only a citizen” of the U.S. who is 18 years or older can vote in Alabama. This amendment was introduced in the Alabama State Senate by Sen. Del Marsh and is backed by Citizen Voters, Inc., an organization that supports a number of similar ballot measure across the country and advocates for specific wording in state constitutions that determines who and who can’t vote in that state. While there is no current organized opposition to this amendment in Alabama, there is opposition in other states where this wording is being introduced as well, such as the Campaign for Real Election Protection in Colorado and the ACLU of Florida, which claims that it is “cloaked in xenophobia and false patriotism.”
Amendment 2 would revise several sections of the state constitution regarding the state judicial branch. If this amendment passes, it would remove the power of the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court to hire the Administrative Director of Courts. Instead, that power would be given to the Supreme Court as a whole; picking an appointee from a list of three nominees compiled by a committee of judges, a circuit clerk and a member of the state board of bar commissioners. Additionally, this amendment would move the ability of the Legislature to impeach judges to the Judicial Inquiry Commission and the Court of the Judiciary, increase the membership of the Judicial Inquiry Commission from nine to 11 members and end the automatic suspension of judges after a complaint is filled to the Judicial Inquiry Commission and would be determined case-by-case instead.
Amendment 3 would also affect the workings of the state judiciary. If passed, a judge appointed to fill a vacancy would face election after serving a two-year term, instead of the current one-year in office. This would, essentially, allow for appointed judges to remain in office longer than they currently can.
Amendment 4 focuses on recompiling the Alabama State Constitution. If passed, this amendment would allow for the state legislature to recompile the constitution during the 2022 regular state legislative session and provide for its ratification. This would allow for the legislature to arrange the constitution into proper articles and sections, remove racist language, remove repealed and repetitive provisions, consolidate provisions related to economic development and arrange all local amendments by county of application.
Amendment 5 relates to “stand your ground” laws. If passed, this amendment would allow for citizens to have a right to use deadly force in self-defense or in defense of another person in churches within Franklin County. While this amendment does only apply to Franklin County, it requires a majority of voters statewide, in addition to a majority of voters in Franklin County, to vote favor of it in order to be added to the state constitution. Additionally, churches are already treated the same way as other private properties under Alabama’s current “stand your ground” laws, according to Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall.
Amendment 6 is similar to Amendment 5 in that it would allow for citizens to have a right to use deadly force in self-defense or in defense of another person in churches within Lauderdale County. Just like Amendment 5, this would only affect Lauderdale County, but requires a majority of voters both within the county and within the state to approve it in order to be added to the state constitution.
Cady Inabinett is the editor in chief of The Alabamian. She’s majoring in English and double-minoring in political science and peace and justice studies. She enjoys reading, watching movies, caring for houseplants and generally just being pretentious in her free time.