Two candidates for Congress in Alabama's newly drawn second district are well known to the Alabama Farmers' Federation (ALFA) because they have served in the Alabama State Senate. In a surprise move, ALFA is not supporting either.

Instead, the ALFA endorsement went to political newcomer Caroleene Dobson, who was raised on a family farm and is now a lawyer in Montgomery and mother of two daughters.

It is the second farm-related endorsement that Dobson has won. The 175,000-member National Cattlemen's Beef Association also endorsed her.

Dobson is also a member of the Alabama Forestry Commission and the Southeast Livestock Exposition.

ALFA has over 300,000 members in Alabama.

The ALFA and cattlemen endorsements may have been influenced by Dobson growing up on her family's cattle farm in Monroe County, in the heart of the district. 

"Caroleene is one of us," ALFA executive Jimmy Parnell said in a press release. "She grew up on a fifth-generation cattle farm in Monroe County and understands the challenges facing farmers and rural families. Caroleene's intelligence and personal drive gave her the opportunity to further her education and make connections throughout the country, but she never forgot her roots. Her devotion to faith, family and hard work will make her a strong voice for Alabama's Second Congressional District as she goes toe to toe with those who are seeking to undermine the foundational values of our great nation."

Dobson said ALFA's support shows that she can be a voice for Alabama farmers in Washington.

"I was born and raised on our family farm in rural southwest Alabama and took part in the hard work and daily chores that go into feeding families across our state," she said. "Because we share deep agricultural roots and a common bond, the farmers of the Second Congressional District understand that I will always ensure their voices are heard in the committee rooms, corridors and chambers of the U.S. Capitol."

Dobson also was endorsed by ViewPAC, which supports qualified conservative women candidates.

The two who did not get the ALFA endorsement are State Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Atmore) and former State Sen. Dick Brewbaker.

Albritton lives in Atmore, which is outside of the second congressional district. He cannot vote for himself, as he lives in the neighboring first district represented by U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile).

Brewbaker is a former state senator from Montgomery. He and his family owned a well-known car dealership for decades.

The Republican primary is on March 5.

One Republican congressional candidate, former Crimson Tide and NFL football player Wallace Gilberry, has withdrawn.

Three other Republican candidates are Karla DuPriest, Hampton Davis and Belinda Thomas.

There are also 11 Democrat candidates running in the separate Democrat primary, also on March 5. The winners of the parties' nominations will face off in the November 5 general election.

National political parties consider the newly drawn second congressional district vital because of the close margin by which Republicans control the House of Representatives. The district is demographically a swing district and could make a difference in control of the House.

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

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