Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 7, 2016

Republicans Stampede Open Alabama House Seat

Bachus is retiring at the end of this Congress. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Rep. Paul DeMarco announced Sunday night that he is running for Congress in Alabama’s 6th District, marking the third Republican candidate to enter the race to replace retiring GOP Rep. Spencer Bachus.

The race to replace Bachus was expected to be crowded, as the powerful former chairman of the House Financial Services Committee has represented the district for 11 terms. But the GOP race for this seat blew wide open after state Sen. Cam Ward, Bachus’ former district director, declined to run for the seat earlier this month, saying he wanted to focus on his young family.

DeMarco joins Gary Palmer, the head of a conservative think tank in Alabama, and Chad Mathis, an orthopedic surgeon and tea party activist, in the contest to represent the area surrounding Birmingham.

Wealthy businessman John Blackwell, a former trustee at Auburn University and father of state Sen. Slade Blackwell, is also considering a run, according to local Alabama sources. Blackwell is currently running for a state Senate seat, but he could suspend that bid to run for Congress, the sources said.

Alabama’s 6th District is rated a Safe Republican contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried the district by a 50-point margin in 2012, making it one of the most conservative districts in the country.

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