BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The race for Alabama’s Chief Justice involves two high profile candidates with long histories in Alabama. The Chief Justice serves as both the top judge in the state and the top administrative official over all state courts.
The 9-member Supreme Court hasn’t had a Democrat since Sue Bell Cobb resigned as Chief Justice in 2011.
Associate Justice R. Tom Parker defeated Lyn Stuart in the June Republican Primary. Stuart replaced Roy Moore when he was suspended from office in 2016 for ordering probate judges to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage.
Parker is a long-time ally of Roy Moore and served as Moore’s legal adviser. His campaign Facebook page “God Bless Justice Tom Parker” contains articles about “fighting the radical left." He was first elected to the Alabama Supreme Court in 2004. The Montgomery native was also Alabama’s assistant Attorney General and has lobbied the legislature on issues surrounding “family values.”
Judge Robert “Bob” Vance Jr. is a Democrat and has served as a Jefferson County Circuit Judge since 2002. The Birmingham native has received bipartisan support during the campaign, including a letter of support signed by six former Supreme Court Justices, including three Republicans. Vance previously ran for Chief Justice, but narrowly lost to Roy Moore in 2012.
Vance has said he believes a judge must be there for everyone, and he’s running to not only combat divisive politics, but the improve the courts across Alabama.