Second congressional candidate Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) is laying out what separates him from his opponent as both vie for the Democratic nomination.

Daniels will face Shomari Figures in an April 16 runoff for the Democratic nomination for the heavily re-drawn second congressional district.

Figures pulled ahead of Daniels in the primary election earlier this month but failed to garner the 50% needed to avoid a runoff. With many votes in the air after nine candidates dropped off, it’s still anyone’s game.  

In a recent appearance on 93.1 "News & Views with Joey Clark," Daniels said Figures’ campaign was funded by out-of-state interests.

“The difference is that I’ve been in Alabama, living in Alabama practically all of my life,” Daniels outlined. “I didn’t just move back to Alabama to run for a seat. I’ve worked in Alabama. I have the receipts to show. Whether it is eliminating the income tax on overtime pay - that was thought of by me, that was executed by me, and that was signed into law.

He continued, “As the minority leader, I’ve helped people run for office, and I’ve also delivered. And there is no evidence of any deliverables; I don’t even know that there’s a community service project that my opponent has done in the last 10 to 20 years in the state of Alabama. And so, for me, if we are to set a precedent that interests can spend almost $2 million to buy a seat in Alabama, I will say to the city council, the mayor in any town in Alabama, the sheriff in any town: if they’re trying to do that in Congress, what do you think they’ll try to do in the state house? What do you think they’ll try to do in local government? We cannot allow out-of-state interests to spend money to buy a seat in Alabama.”

Figures is a newcomer to Alabama politics. However, his family roots in the state go deep. His mother, Vivian Figures, is a state senator representing the 33rd district. Her late husband, former State Sen. Michael A. Figures, held the seat until his death in 1996. Vivian Figures has held the seat ever since. Shomari Figures also worked with the Obama administration as the Domestic Director of Presidential Personnel.

Quipping that while some people had a silver spoon, “hell, I didn’t have a fork,” Daniels touted his record as self-made in the political sphere as a stark distinction between him and Figures.

“I worked too hard to even create this district to allow some out-of-state entity to come in and take this district away from us," Daniel stated. "So, the voters of Alabama have to understand that working for a politician is different than being one. And having the track record and the receipts to show that; that’s important. The question has to be: what have you done for Alabama? We’re not talking about mom and dad.

He continued, “I don’t have a family member that’s in politics. I don’t have anyone that’s been in politics in my family. I’ve gotten these things done myself as a person.”

While more inexperienced than his opponent in national politics, Daniels believes his role in the state legislature has given him ample experience in accomplishing goals while working across the aisle.

“I’ve been able to navigate the political waters here in Alabama in the Republican supermajority legislature and being able to build alliances with people on issues where there is common ground to help the people that I was raised around as well as the ones that are in my district,” Daniels explained. “So, Washington D.C. is no different. I want to be able to bring community to the chaos that I see in existence at the federal level, and then I want to restore the confidence kn the people. Hey, we may be in different parties, but, at the end of the day, the R and the D don’t matter; it’s the A: Alabama.”

“That’s the difference between me and anyone else running, is that I have the track record of working across the aisle," he added. "I have the track record of deliverables: cutting taxes, making sure that we’re focusing on things that have outcomes that’s beneficial [for] Alabama in general. So, I have the receipts. And there’s no one else that has the receipts I have in difficult times.”

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