The Alabama Republican party gets a big boost

By Alan Collins

BIRMINHGAM (WBRC) - Four democrats in the Alabama House of Representatives announced they are switching over the GOP. This includes Representatives Steve Hurst of Munford, Mike Millican of Hamilton, Steve Hurst of Phenix City and Alan Booth of Troy.

Auburn Rep. Mike Hubbard, the Alabama Republican Party Chairman and future house speaker, welcomed the party switchers.

"After speaking to each legislator in depth, I know each decision came after much thought and soul searching," Hubbard said.

Republican voters hope the new majority will mean cleaning up allegations of corruption in Montgomery.

"I'm expecting good things. I'm a republican. I think it's a good thing," Daniel Roth, a voter said.

Other voters are hopeful.

"I voted republican. I don't have a high hopes for a change in Montgomery although I'm keeping my fingers crossed," Marilyn Pritchard, another voter said.

UAB political analyst Larry Powell says this is a major setback for the Alabama Democratic Party.

"The Democratic Party is not dead in Alabama but it's on life support," Powell said.

State Representative John Rogers, the head of the legislative Black caucus in the Alabama House says it's time for the Democratic Party to change.

"We've got to revamp the party from bottom to the top," he said. "We've got to get new leadership. We've got to have a consistent message. We've got to be a little more centralist."
Republicans will face tough times with budget cuts for state services and benefit reductions for teachers and state workers, Rogers said.

Voters say they could swing back and vote for the democrats.

"I'm willing to give anyone a chance. Political party doesn't matter as much as they are willing to make a difference, a positive difference for our state," Meagan Griffin, a voter said.

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