Alabama’s new District 2 is offering a choice this year between a D.C. insider and a political newcomer. Democrat Shomari Figures and Republican Caroleene Dobson won their respective parties’ nominations in the April 16 runoff, and will face off in the Nov. 5 general election.

Dobson is the new face and potential spoiler. After much legal back-and-forth over redistricting, a three-judge panel determined that a second “Black” district was required. District 2 was drawn for that purpose. How ironic would it be if this district ended up being represented by a white woman?

Dobson’s background is far from political. A real-estate attorney descended from five generations of Alabama farmers, Dobson deems Alabama’s agriculture and environment of huge importance, which is why she is a member of the Alabama Forestry Commission and serves on the Board of the Southeastern Livestock Exposition. Dobson’s profile is “person of the people,” and “daughter of the land,” a fact that may play well with Alabamians disaffected by swampy elites.

That is where Figures, Dobson’s opponent, stands out. The son of two former state senators, Figures is a known national commodity who also has local name recognition, two things which will serve him well. Figures even served as Attorney General Merrick Garland’s deputy chief of staff. (Yes, that Merrick Garland, who is helping to engineer lawsuits against former President and presumptive GOP Nominee Donald Trump, as well as the prosecution of the alleged J6 insurrectionists and Catholics who oppose abortion.)

But those inner connections may also come back to bite Figures. Alabama’s distrust of the federal government and institutions is at an all-time high. This distrust was furthered in testimony before the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic on May 22, when we learned that former-NIH Director Dr. Anthony Fauci directed his lieutenant, Dr. David Morens, to use personal email to avoid FOIA requests on Fauci’s handling of COVID, burying records to hide from public scrutiny and accountability. It’s also furthered when Alabamians see innocent citizens who are simply defending their families or praying in front of abortion clinics getting arrested and receiving harsh sentences, or alleged J6 trespassers being denied due process.

Americans, and especially Alabamians, find all this disgraceful and more than distasteful. So, as a former representative of the Deep State, Figures is immediately at a disadvantage. If Dobson can tie him to his former boss and these adversarial actions by government, she may have a fighting chance in this election.

This fight matters for both parties. The Republican House majority is fractured and hangs by a thread, while Democrats are chomping at the bit to add to their numbers. District 2 is the magic key both need. Thus, both candidates are finding support beyond their district.

For Dobson, some of that support recently came from Judy Barlow of the Eastern Shore Republican Women’s Club, housed in District 1:

Although Baldwin County is in district one, ESRW president Judy Barlow said she wanted Dobson to speak in the neighboring district so people in the area could get to know her.

‘We need more attitudes of faithful stewardship in Washington, D.C.,’ Dobson said. …

[Dobson] encouraged all citizens to get involved in the race by helping spread the word. She said it would take a statewide effort.

‘This seat is winnable, but it is going to be a hard battle,’ she said. ‘The Democrats are going to throw everything they’ve got at this seat, so I need your help.’

Dobson also received the endorsement of New York Rep. and GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik’s E-PAC, which was pivotal in flipping House seats in 2020 and 2022. Stefanik’s reputation and the juice behind her PAC could help get Dobson over many hurdles.

Figures, meanwhile, is proving his worth to Democrats, playing up the union and race cards. He appeared on Al Sharpton’s MSNBC program, condemning the Alabama Legislature for their recent passage of a bill clawing back incentives from businesses who approve a union before employees have a chance to vote.

‘[I] think what this really showed us here in the state of Alabama, in particular, where during this organizing campaign state legislators — a new law being implemented here in the state of Alabama went so far as to disincentivize companies voluntarily acknowledging unions,’ Figures said. ‘It really highlighted the fact that we have to do everything to protect the right of workers to organize when they so choose.’

Trump is a "throwback to an era" in Alabama that people do not want to return to,” Figures added.

Dobson, on the other hand, is a strong backer of Trump and feels that America needs him back in the White House.

Although Dobson is a fresh face, she also comes off as authentic, personable, and credible in an era where Americans are weary of posturing and canned speeches. But don’t discount posturing or that stamp of “national expertise” that comes from Figures. There is still a contingent of voters who deem such expertise more important than constitutional liberties.

In today’s political climate, both candidates are going to need God’s speed … and lots of funding.

Jennifer Oliver O'Connell, As the Girl Turns, is an investigative journalist, author, opinion analyst, and contributor to 1819 News, Redstate, and other publications. Jennifer writes on Politics and Pop Culture, with occasional detours into Reinvention, Yoga, and Food. You can read more about Jennifer's world at her As the Girl Turns website. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Telegram.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to

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