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Alabama has 35 state Senate seats.  All of them are up for re-election this year, but not every one of them is going to be on the Republican or Democratic primary ballots because in many cases, only one candidate who qualified to run. Both parties elected not to field candidates in all 35 of the state Senate seats.

These are the districts where you can expect to see competition in next Tuesday’s primary election.

Republican primary ballot                     

In Senate District 1 (SD1) incumbent Sen. Tim Melson is facing a challenge from John Sutherland. Melson chairs the Senate Education Policy Committee.     

In SD2 incumbent Sen. Tom Butler is facing former state Sen. Bill Holtzclaw. Holtzclaw defeated Butler for the seat in the 2010 general election. Holtzclaw did not seek reelection in 2018, when Butler switched to the Republican Party and won SD2.

In SD11 former St. Clair County Republican Party chairman Lance Bell and former military chaplain Michael J Wright are competing for the open seat.     

In SD12 Wendy Ghee Draper, Keith Kelley, and Wayne Willis are all running for the open seat. 

In SD13 incumbent Sen. Randy Price is being challenged by John Allen Coker.

In SD15 incumbent Sen. Dan Roberts is being challenged by Brian Christine.

In SD17 incumbent Sen. Shay Shelnutt is facing challenger Mike Dunn.

In SD22 incumbent Sen. Greg Albritton is being challenged by Stephen Sexton. Albritton is the Chairman of the powerful Senate Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee.

In SD27 incumbent State Sen. Tom Whatley is being challenged by Auburn City Councilman Jay Hovey. Whatley is the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

SD31 is another open Republican seat. There Josh Carnley, Stormin Norman Horton, and Mike Jones, Jr. are all running in the GOP primary. Mike Jones is the Rules Committee Chairman in the Alabama House of Representatives.    

In the Democratic primary, there are fewer Senate primary battles.

In SD19 State Rep. Louise "LuLu" Alexander and State Rep. Merika Coleman are running for the open state Senate seat.

In SD20 incumbent Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison is facing a challenge from Rodney Huntley.

 In SD23 former Selma Mayor and former State Rep. Darrio Melton, former State Sen. Hank Sanders, Thayer "Bear" Spencer, and Robert L. Stewart are all running for the open seat. Sanders held the seat for decades until he retired in 2018.

In SD28 incumbent Sen. Billy Beasley is being challenged by Frank "Chris" Lee.

Both major party primaries are on May 24.

There are no write-in candidates allowed in either the Democratic or Republican Party primaries. The sole purpose of the primary is to determine the major party nominee for the Nov. 8 general election. Candidates who seek general election ballot access as an independent or minor party candidate have until Tuesday, May 24 to turn in all of their paperwork including the required number of ballot access signatures of registered voters to the Secretary of State’s office.

The Alabama Republican Party currently has a 27 to 8 supermajority in the Alabama Senate. Democrats are presently running candidates in only 14 Senate seats. Republicans are only contesting 29 of the 35 Senate districts in Nov. The Senate districts were reapportioned and redistricted in Nov. based on the 2020 election so some Alabamians will have a new State Senate district thanks to redistricting.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email brandon.moseley@1819News.com.

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