Wednesday, October 27, 2004
On this day:

The House Race to Watch in Alabama

The only race for U.S. House that is even remotely competitive in Alabama this year is in the Third Congressional district, which includes Centre, Anniston, Jacksonville, Talladega, Sylacauga, Alexander City, Tallassee, Auburn, and stretches into the suburbs of Montgomery.

Republican Mike Rogers, of Saks, is seeking his second term in the House. He faces Democrat Bill Fuller, from Lafayette. Both candidates served in the Alabama legislature, and Fuller most recently served as director the state Department of Human Resources.

Rogers has the power of incumbency behind him and adheres to the "compassionate conservative" philosophy of the administration. Fuller may be best described as a "New Deal Democrat." He is a social conservative who supports a strong defense and foreign policy, but also advocates expanded federal roles in addressing issues like poverty, education, health care, child care, and the environment. Like John Kerry, Fuller favors "progressive" taxation and supports repeal of the portion of the Bush tax cuts that benefit the wealthy. He is an opponent of most of the free trade agreements the U.S. has entered into over the past 20 years, saying that they result in unfair foreign competition to home-grown industries.

Rogers should end up winning handily, but, given the demographics of the district, Fuller is the the brand of Democrat who could mount an upset.