FarmPAC packed a wallop in Alabama political races.

The political arm of the Alabama Farmers Federation (ALFA) endorsed 10 candidates in contested races in the March 5 Republican primary. Nine of the ten either won the Republican primary outright or won a seat in the April 16 runoff.

The lone loser among ALFA-endorsed candidates was first-time candidate Thomas Govan for Court of Criminal Appeals. Govan gathered 44.74% of the vote, behind winner Rich Anderson with 55.26%. 

Unofficial but reliable returns from the Secretary of State’s office showed Anderson winning with 259,143 votes. Govan trailed with 209,815.

Anderson comes from a family of long-time Republican involvement. His father, Mark Anderson, is a former Circuit Judge in Montgomery County and now sits on the county board of voter registrars. His mother, Jean Anderson, has been active with Republican women and on the board of trustees for the University of West Alabama in Livingston.

Anderson and Govan both worked as assistant attorneys general in Montgomery.

The candidate endorsed by ALFA who won a seat in the April 16 runoff is political newcomer Caroleene Dobson, a Montgomery attorney with deep roots in the Farmers Federation and farming community. She will face former State Sen. Dick Brewbaker (R-Montgomery) in the Republican runoff Tuesday, April 16. 

The unofficial results were:

Dick Brewbaker  22,556.  39.59%.

Caroleene Dobson  15,075.  26.46%.

Dobson raised the issue that Washington, D.C. has too many career politicians. She is a first-time candidate, while Brewbaker is a former state senator and state representative.

Winning Republican congressional nominations outright were FarmPAC-endorsed incumbents in three districts: U.S. Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Saks), Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) and Gary Palmer (R-Hoover).  

ALFA did not endorse in AL-1, where Republican incumbents U.S. Reps. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) and Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) faced off in a newly redrawn district. FarmPAC had endorsed both candidates in previous elections.

“The Federation congratulates Congressman Moore on his re-election and thanks Congressman Carl for his service to Alabama,” ALFA president Jimmy Parnell said in a statement Wednesday. “We look forward to continue working with Congressman Moore as he fights for farmers and the conservative values our members share. His leadership on the House Agriculture Committee will be valuable as Congress drafts a new farm bill and works on other issues impacting agriculture and rural families.”

In state appellate court races, Sarah Stewart won the Republican nomination for Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice but faces a Democrat challenger in the general election, Circuit Judge Greg Griffin. Chad Hanson was re-elected to the Court of Civil Appeals.

Twinkle Cavanaugh, who Parnell calls “a long-time friend of ALFA,” won re-election as Public Service Commission president.

FarmPAC-endorsed candidates were elected to open seats on the Alabama State Board of Education. Kelly Mooney won for District 3 in central Alabama, and Dr. Allen Long surged to victory in northwest Alabama’s District 7. They face no Democrat opposition in November.

FarmPAC had also endorsed other candidates for the general election who did not face primary opposition and whose names did not appear on the primary ballot.

“Unlike other political action committees, Alabama FarmPAC is fully funded by ALFA members. This grassroots support once again paid off in the primary as candidates who took time to meet our farmers and visit with county leaders prevailed,” Parnell said in a release Wednesday. “Hard work and understanding people’s real-world concerns are keys to political victory. We congratulate the candidates without opposition in the general election and pledge to continue supporting those who face a runoff or challenger in the fall.”

Jim Zeigler is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at

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