Selma names add intrigue

Published 10:57 pm Monday, April 6, 2009

This could prove an interesting political season as the race heats up to fill the 7th District House seat to be vacated by Congressman Artur Davis (D-Birmingham). Davis is running for governor — another promised hot contest.

We’ve already seen Selma native Terri Sewell, an accomplished attorney with an impressive academic pedigree, line up for the 7th District race. She has announced now that she’ll report $123,717.69 raised since Jan. 28 for her war chest.

Just as Sewell announced her fund-raising efforts, Birmingham attorney and state Rep. Earl Hilliard Jr. said he’ll seek the Democratic nomination for the 7th District. Hilliard is the son of the former congressman by the same last name, who was ousted by Davis in 2002.

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Some political columnists and bloggers have thrown out other names, including Sen. Rodger Smitherman, another Democrat from Birmingham. Smitherman, a Montgomery native, is serving his fourth term in the Senate. He’s an attorney. Smitherman was elected president pro tempore of the Alabama Senate in February. Bobby Singleton’s name also has popped up. Sen. Bobby Singleton, a Democrat from Greensboro, is another potential candidate. He is the owner of Black Belt Technologies LLC. He was elected in 2005 to fill the term of Charles Steele, who resigned.

A couple of bloggers have put former Mayor James Perkins Jr. as a candidate in the race. Not long ago, before Perkins’ meeting at Ebenezer Baptist Church, a reporter for The Selma Times-Journal asked Perkins would he run for the seat. Perkins said, “No.” Some folks believe Perkins is off in the wings, waiting to challenge Mayor George Evans for Selma’s chief executive slot.

Another Selma name, that of Sen. Hank Sanders, also has been offered as a potential on the Democratic ticket for the 7th District House race. Sanders has worked hard in the Alabama Legislature for the Black Belt region and for the state as a whole. We’d think Sanders would not make a dash to risk what he could do for this region just to go to the Capitol in Washington, D.C.