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Figures, Daniels advance to runoff in Democratic primary in Alabama’s new 2nd District

By Mike Cason


Former U.S. Justice Department official Shomari Figures of Mobile and Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels of Huntsville have advanced to a runoff in Alabama’s 2nd congressional district, a race where Democrats are given a strong chance to flip a Republican seat.


The Associated Press declared that Figures and Daniels had made the runoff shortly after 10 p.m. Figures was leading the 11-candidate field, while Daniels was running second.


The runoff between the top two finishers will be April 16. The winner will face the winner of the runoff for the Republican nomination between Dick Brewbaker and Caroleene Dobson.


Figures worked on Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and in the White House and served as deputy chief of staff and counselor to Attorney General Merrick Garland in the Justice Department. He is the son of longtime state Sen. Vivian Davis Figures of Mobile and Michael Figures, who served 18 years as a state senator until his death in 1996.


Daniels lives outside the 2nd District in Huntsville but grew up in Bullock County, which is in the district and said he maintains close family ties there. Daniels was elected to the Legislature in 2014 and has served as House minority leader since 2017.


In October, a federal court approved a map redrawing the district. Black residents now make up 49% of the voting age population, changing it from a safe Republican district to one where a Democrat could win, potentially becoming the second Democrat and second Black member in Alabama’s seven-member Congressional delegation.


The district goes from the Georgia line to the Mississippi line and from Montgomery to Mobile, including all or part of 13 counties.


Rep. Napoleon Bracy Jr. of Mobile County, was running third in Tuesday’s primary, followed by Sen. Merika Coleman of Jefferson County.


They were followed by Phyllis Harvey-Hall of Montgomery, James Averhart of Mobile, executive director of the NAACP Alabama State Conference, Rep. Jeremy Gray of Phenix City, Rep. Juandalynn Givan of Birmingham, Vimal Patel of Troy, Larry Darnell Simpson of Mobile, and Willie J. Lenard of Pike Road.


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