Former Congressman Parker Griffith could be ramping up for a gubernatorial campaign, WHNT News 19 reported earlier today. Griffith was elected to the US House as a Democrat in 2008 before running for reelection unsuccessfully as a Republican in 2010 and again in 2012.
“The Alabama Democratic Party recently voted to reinstate Griffith” indicating that the candidate’s party-switching days may not yet be finished, according to WHNT.
Although the candidacy has not yet been confirmed, Griffith’s history of party-switching has already soured some on his potential campaign. A Democratic operative with Alabama connections called the choice questionable.
“He’s a blind opportunist who stands for nothing but himself. He’s Artur Davis without a single idea,” he told Sweet Home Politics. “It’s just reflective of how desperate the state of affairs at the Alabama Democratic Party is that they’d be willing to welcome him back to challenge Gov. Bentley. A lot of insiders and well-connected operators are clamoring for a Bentley alternative — Republicans and Democrats — yet somehow the Democrats manage to pick the one person reviled perhaps more than any other politician in recent Alabama memory.”
Some have also speculated on the interesting potential battle between Bentley and Griffith, both trained doctors.
“Dr. Bentley is widely popular and has a very high approval rating,” a Republican insider in Montgomery told Sweet Home Politics. “If he can manage to make this a one-issue race about Medicaid expansion, this could become an interesting race. It would put two medical doctors on opposite sides of that issue.”
Griffith would join a strikingly empty field of Democratic candidates. Currently, Kevin Bass, a Fayette businessman and former minor league baseball player, is the only other Democratic candidate that has been announced.
The filing deadline to qualify for the gubernatorial election is Friday, Feb. 7.