HUNTSVILLE, Ala.(WHNT) – Former north Alabama Congressman Parker Griffith has yet to announce whether or not he’ll run for governor, but WHNT News 19 Political Analyst Jess Brown says the Democratic prodigal son may be that party’s best hope against incumbent Gov. Robert Bentley.
“He would be the strongest candidate they could recruit to run for governor,” said Brown, who believes Democrats don’t have a better option on the table. “The Democrats realize they have very few effective horses in their stable.”
Despite the former Congressman’s infamous reputation for party-swapping and dismal performances in recent elections, Brown said Griffith still brings a solid resume with deep pockets and political contacts. Our news partners at The Huntsville Times-AL.com report that Griffith will likely decline to run if State Senator and fellow Democrat Billy Beasley throws his hat in the ring.
WHNT News 19 has confirmed that the Alabama Democratic Party recently voted to reinstate Griffith, potentially clearing the way for a gubernatorial run that would have to be announced by Friday’s qualifying deadline.
Dr. Parker Griffith has run as a member of the Republican and Democratic parties in Alabama, serving in the Alabama Senate and also in the U.S. Congress from 2009-2011. Griffith was elected to Congress as a Democrat, but switched over to the Republican party halfway through his first term in office in 2010. Current Congressman Mo Brooks soundly defeated Griffith in the Republican primaries of 2010 and 2012, with Griffith eventually deciding to quit the GOP last year.
Griffith also said in an interview with WHNT News 19 last fall he was finished with both parties.
He’s also run for mayor of Huntsville.
Local Democratic sources said Griffith met with state Democratic party leaders in Montgomery this past weekend to discuss his candidacy. Griffith did not respond to our messages, and has yet to file any formal paperwork.