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franklin county times

Locals unsure of benefits of 'Super Tuesday'

By Staff
Jason Cannon
In last year's legislative session, lawmakers moved Alabama's primary election up four months, hoping to make the state a major player in the presidential election.
With just over a week left before state voters cast their ballots, it appears the move was all for naught.
"From what we're hearing, (Republican) Mike Huckabee will probably win Alabama," Jerry Fancher, chairman of the Franklin County Republican Executive Committee, said.
"So, I guess the candidates feel like it's already decided and are campaigning elsewhere."
Alabama has historically been considered a wasteland for presidential primary contenders, due largely to the fact that the state's primary election was often held after a clear winner had already emerged.
But, Alabama's move to Feb. 5 put the state in a field crowded with states with many electoral votes and that are traditionally split between Democrats and Republicans.
Alabama traditionally votes Republican in national elections.
"I think next year, the legislature needs to look at moving (the primary) back about two weeks," Fancher said. "Let some of the larger states get theirs out of the way. I think we could get some attention then."
Brian Hamilton, chairman of the Franklin County Democratic Executive Committee, said he also believed the Legislature's intentions were good, but the results have been about the same as in years past.
"I was a supporter of the decision to move the primary to Super Tuesday," Hamilton said.
"I think the intent was good, but once so many other states moved their primaries to the same day, I think the impact has been minimal."
One complaint that Alabama voters have had over the years has been the lack of interest shown to the state by presidential candidates. That has not changed in 2008.
"I don't think any of the major candidates have shown an interest in Alabama," Hamilton said. "I don't think the move has had the impact that it was intended to have."