Democratic party not fielding candidates in 2020 District 5 congressional race

Updated: Dec. 2, 2019 at 6:15 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The Democratic party will not have a candidate on the 2020 ballot for one of the Valley’s congressional seats.

No candidates registered before the November deadline, meaning the next District 5 congressman will likely be incumbent Rep. Mo Brooks or his Republican primary challenger, Chris Lewis.

Alabama House of Representatives minority leader and Madison County party chairman Anthony Daniels said infrastructure has been lacking within the state Democratic party.

“I think having more than 1.5 staffers in Montgomery, that’s a start. Having field organizers in different regions of the state. Having very strong data," he said.

“Individuals [are] not just wanting to be a sacrificial lamb, but actually mounting a campaign that is strong and that will help."

In 2018, Former Huntsville city attorney Peter Joffrion earned more than 100,000 votes in an unsuccessful campaign to unseat Brooks.

Daniels said recent leadership changes on the state level will translate to more candidates.

The party recently voted out chair Nancy Worley, replacing her with Rep. Christopher England.

Brooks won his seat since 2010, beating all his Democratic challengers comfortably, or not at all.

The last time Brooks didn’t run against a Democratic challenger was 2014.

He beat his independent Mark Bray with almost 75 percent of the vote.

Former Madison County Democratic chairman Tom Ryan said the conversation about party politics needs to change.

“Everyone assumes everyone else is a Republican because that’s all they hear,” he said.

He said he and other local Democrats are ostracized in social circles as a result of their views.

Brook’s office has not yet returned a request for comment.

Despite the lack of a congressional challenger, both Daniels and Ryan said they’re confident in a brighter future.

The general election is Nov. 3, 2020.

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