ALABAMA (WHNT) – For more than a decade, the Alabama Democratic party has struggled to be competitive in statewide races while showing a steady decline each year. 

The 2022 election cycle appears to also show lean times for the Democrats. A deeper look into that fact; a Democrat has held a state office seat only once since 2008. 

The Democrats are competing in this election cycle. There are six democratic candidates for Governor and three for the U.S. senate. However, voters in rural parts of the south, most notably in Alabama, have identified as Republicans by a wide margin. 

In 2021, 52 percent of voters have called themselves Republicans while 26 percent identified as Democrats. In 2022 only one of the six Democratic gubernatorial candidates, Malika Sanders-Fortier, has a background in politics.

According to the Pew Research Center, the state’s Democratic representatives, who are mostly African American, have viewed racism as a problem in voter issues. Sanders-Fortier has four years in the senate in District 23 representing Selma, which is 82 percent African American.  

“There’s just so much disenfranchisement still in the state. Although we hate to face it, still, some of that going on,” notes gubernatorial candidate Yolanda Flowers.  

Flowers is a retired rehabilitation counselor and a former teacher who chose to run for Governor. According to the latest Nexstar Emerson College Poll results, Flowers holds a substantial lead with 29 percent likely for Democratic voters. Alabama Democratic voters are searching for a presence in the upcoming election primary. 

Political analyst David Person tells News 19, “I would certainly like to see democrats in a situation where there is more of a balance, and there’s more opportunity for productive collaboration between well-meaning Democrats and well-meaning Republicans so that we can move this state forward.”  

Flowers added, “those of us who are fighting, it’s wearing us out. But we dare not stop fighting simply because we see that blessed hope. We see that light at the end of the tunnel.”  

Person mentioned that the lack of media coverage and lack of funding sources for Democratic candidates has also hurt election chances. Democrats would rather focus of state related issues while Republican ads focus mainly on national issues, but have dominated the airwaves.  

The state Primary Election is set for May 24.