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Some of Montgomery's most powerful political players are coming out in support of the Democratic nominee for Alabama's District 74 seat ahead of Tuesday's midterm election.
The seat is currently occupied by Charlotte Meadows (R–Montgomery), who is running for reelection against Democratic opponent Phillip Ensler.
Ensler, a prominent advocate, civil rights attorney and former policy advisor to Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed, has been active in the Montgomery area for years.
Meadows’s seat was the subject of recent attention after the state’s redistricting changed the demographics, making it a majority black district.
The redistricting has left many questions related to how the newly formed district will perform at the polls.
Despite Ensler’s position as a Democrat, he has received support from a number of Political Action Committees (PACs) that have historically supported Republican candidates.
According to campaign finance reports, Ensler’s campaign received several contributions from Cash PAC and Pride PAC II, both of which have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republicans across the state.
Of the nearly $1.7 million given by Pride PAC, only $157,000 has been given to Democratic candidates in its 13 years of operation.
Gov. Kay Ivey, Attorney General Steve Marshall, Secretary of State John Merrill, Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth and former Gov. Robert Bentley are just a few of the prominent Republicans who have received contributions from the two PACs.
The two PACs are among the many run by Tuscaloosa political consultant Michael Echols. Echols, a relatively obscure name in Alabama politics, has distributed millions to candidates throughout the years, the vast majority of them Republican.
The Poarch Creek Indians are also throwing their hat in the ring for Ensler, having donated thousands to his campaign.
Ensler is not without support from his Democratic compatriots.
U.S. Rep Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) and former U.S. Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) both donated to the Ensler campaign as well.
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