Well-funded, competitive field chasing GOP nomination for attorney general

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. --  There’s been millions spent already on the race that political analyst Jess Brown thinks is the most interesting line on the GOP ballot for the June 5 primary.

It’s not the governor’s race, he says, it’s the race for attorney general.

“In light of our state’s recent history I think it could be the most important contest on the ballot,” Brown said.

The Alabama Attorney General’s office in recent years has prosecuted both a governor – Robert Bentley, and a House Speaker, Mike Hubbard.

The current Attorney General, Steve Marshall, got his job after Bentley appointed then-Attorney General Luther Strange to the U.S. Senate. Strange’s office was investigating Bentley at the time of the appointment.

Brown says the four candidates running for the GOP nomination are all politically connected.

The field includes Marshall, former Attorney General Troy King, former U.S. Attorney Alice Martin and former Trump Alabama chairman and Trump advisor Chess Bedsole.

“The insiders speculate it will be a Marshall-King runoff,” Brown said.

Brown suspects the race may turn out differently.

“If there’s a surprise out there I think it’ll be that Bedsole will make the runoff,” he said. “

He points to Bedsole’s close affiliation with President Trump.

“Nobody on the ballot, no Republican on the ballot in Alabama to my knowledge, has greater bona fides, better credentials as a Trumpster than Mr. Bedsole,” Brown said.

King, who has ties to the casino owners, the Poarch Creek Indians, may get hit on that issue, Brown says,

“If he makes the runoff, he’s clearly going to be labeled as the candidate of the gambling interests,” he said.

Brown says Marshall would likely prefer facing King in a runoff.

“If I’m interim Attorney General Marshall, I don’t want to be in a runoff against Bedsole,” Brown said.

The candidates have all spent substantial money in the race, according to Alabama campaign finance records.

Marshall has spent nearly $2 million, Bedsole and King have spent about $1.4 million each and Martin has spent $750,000.