Republican debate precedes Alabama congressional runoff

Montgomery, Alabama — The two Republicans competing for Alabama's reconfigured 2nd Congressional District debated Monday before next week's runoff.  

Businessman and former state senator Dick Brewbaker and attorney and political newcomer Caroleene Dobson are running for the GOP nomination in the April 16 runoff. The carefully watched November election pits the winner against the Democratic nominee.  

Dobson questioned Brewbaker's tax and business regulatory votes in the discussion. Brewbaker responded that Dobson lied about his record frequently. “We don’t need to send a retired career politician,” Dobson said in her opening remarks. “I'll stand tall with President Trump against the left if you send me.”  

“Everything she has ever said about my record” is a misrepresentation, Brewmaker claimed. "As a car dealer, I know more about regulation's impact on small business than a Texas lawyer." Monroe County native Dobson practiced law in Texas before joining Maynard Nexsen in 2019.

An April 16 runoff between Shomari Figures and state Rep. Anthony Daniels will determine the Democratic nominee. Democrats want to flip the historically GOP Deep South congressional district. Republicans want to keep the seat and control the House.  

After federal courts decided the state's plan likely violated the Voting Rights Act, the 2nd District was reconfigured last fall to increase Black voter turnout. Dobson and Brewbaker shared views on tax reduction, gun control, border security, government spending, and energy development. They also highlighted GOP hot-button subjects like transgender athlete limits.  

Brewbaker responded to Dobson's criticism of his legislative votes by saying she was misrepresenting him. “My opponent supported Alabama's largest tax increase. As indicated, I will oppose taxes to the end, Dobson stated. Brewbaker called it “another lie from my opponent.” “All of the votes she calls me raising taxes, were me putting local initiatives on the ballot so Alabamians could vote on it, which is democracy,” Brewbaker added.  

Brewbaker said he had a track record in Montgomery, including authorizing charter schools and other school choice alternatives and passing autism therapy insurance legislation. “We need someone who understands how the system works and has proven he can stop legislation that makes government bigger while making a smaller government more responsive to its citizens,” Brewbaker said.  

In the March primary, Brewbaker won 37% to Dobson's 24.76%. No contender receives more than 50% of the primary vote, requiring a runoff. WSFA and WALA sponsored the congressional discussion. Tuesday night's debate between Figures and Daniels airs on both stations.  

stay turned for development