This is an opinion column.
Believe it or not, we are six months away from the 2022 elections. All statewide offices will be decided in the May 24, 2022 Republican Primary. Winning the Republican Primary is tantamount to election in the Heart of Dixie. Therefore, garnering the endorsement of the most conservative group in the state is vitally important towards election.
That group is the Alabama Farmers Federation or commonly known as Alfa. The Farm PAC Alfa endorsement is the gold standard for conservatism, and it is the ticket to election in Alabama.
The Alabama Farmers Federation is governed by county federation leaders in each of the state’s 67 counties, and the word leaders should be emphasized. The leaders of each county federation are respected men who have been born and raised in their community. Many have owned farmland for generations, are respected agribusinessmen, deacons in their churches, and board members of their local banks. In other words, they are centers of influence, and their words and recommendations extend well beyond their agricultural base. To win the Alfa endorsement statewide candidates have to go see each of the county federation members in all 67 counties.
There are over 100,000 actual farmers in the state that vote the Alfa endorsed ballot right down the line. There are also affiliated agribusiness groups that toe the Alfa line. In addition, there are over 100,000 insurance policyholders throughout the state who have their car and homeowners’ insurance with Alfa and they see the Farm PAC endorsement and usually follow it because they have contributed to Farm PAC. Additionally, a good many Alabamians will see their friends and neighbors with an Alfa ballot and ask them who Alfa has endorsed in certain races. Then they will vote that way because they know Alfa has vetted the candidates and chosen the most conservative ones.
The Alfa endorsements for the May 24, 2022 elections were decided on September 28, 2021. These endorsements will be decisive. Katie Britt won the endorsement for the open U.S. Senate race, which will be the marquee race next year. She got it the old fashioned way. She worked for it. She got out and visited and got to know almost every farmers federation member in the state. This endorsement will probably propel her to victory.
Gov. Kay Ivey received the endorsement. She has been the darling of Alfa her entire career. The Farm PAC endorsement was critical in allowing her to win the governorship without a runoff four years ago. They have been with her from the get-go when she was State Treasurer two terms and Lt. Governor two terms.
Will Ainsworth received the Alfa endorsement for reelection as Lt. Governor. This endorsement is the reason he upset Twinkle Cavanaugh in their race four years ago. Alfa was the reason he won that race and has made his political career.
Incumbent Attorney General Steve Marshall has been endorsed by Alfa because he has proven to be a real conservative.
Rick Pate has won the Alfa endorsement for a second term as Agriculture Commissioner. He had the endorsement four years ago and it helped him win. Folks are really interested in who Alfa endorses for Agriculture Commissioner.
Incumbent PSC Commissioners, Chip Beeker and Jeremy Oden, received the coveted Alfa nod.
One of the most critical endorsements Alfa made was selecting Greg Cook for the Alabama Supreme Court seat of retiring Judge Mike Bolin. This endorsement of Greg Cook is pivotal. It proves that he is the conservative probusiness candidate for the Supreme Court. It will probably assure his victory.
Popular incumbent Supreme Court Justice Kelli Wise got the endorsement even though she may be unopposed.
Three candidates for secondary constitutional offices received the endorsement of Alfa and will be instrumental towards their elections are Wes Allen for Secretary of State, Young Boozer for State Treasurer, and Rusty Glover for State Auditor. Glover’s getting the endorsement is that race is pivotal as is Wes Allen’s in the Secretary of State.
Alfa has endorsed all of the incumbent Republican Congressmen including Jerry Carl, Barry Moore, Mike Rogers, Robert Aderholt and Gary Palmer. They have endorsed Dale Strong in the open 5th district congressional race. He appears to be the favorite.
All of Alfa’s statewide endorsements are Republicans. That makes sense because every statewide officeholder in the state is a Republican. If you made me bet, I would wager that all of the above mentioned Alfa endorsed candidates will win next year. We will see in about six months.
See you next week.
Steve Flowers is Alabama’s leading political columnist. His column appears in over 60 Alabama newspapers. He served 16 years in the state legislature.