Republicans Lose State House Seat in Special Election

( – Alabama is not a liberal state by any stretch of the imagination. Political watchers don’t often expect Democrats to flip seats in the deeply conservative state. But that’s exactly what happened in a state race recently.

On March 26, Democrat Marilyn Lands beat Conservative Teddy Powell and won an open seat during a special election. She didn’t just win by a small margin either; it was a landslide. Lands beat Powell 62.4% to 37.6% in the House District 10 race. The Republican’s defeat was stunning, as the seat has long been held by the GOP.

Political analysts are crediting Lands for running a campaign that targeted women and reproductive rights. In an interview with The Associated Press, she said that voters “are tired of women’s freedoms and reproductive health care not being addressed.”

Alabama is one of the states that has completely banned abortion in the post-Dobbs v. Jackson America. There are no exceptions in the state’s law for rape victims. The Alabama Supreme Court recently granted fetal personhood to frozen embryos by expanding the definition of a child. That decision threw in-vitro fertilization services into chaos and allowed a wrongful death lawsuit to move forward against a clinic where someone accidentally destroyed embryos.

Lands told voters her story about receiving an abortion two decades ago. She’d decided to terminate the pregnancy after her baby tested positive for a fatal genetic disorder, trisomy 13. She explained that she told her story after talking to a woman who had to leave Alabama to get an abortion after her baby received the same diagnosis.

Republican strategist Angi Horn told The Hill that Lands did a great job motivating people to turn out to vote and said that if she were a Democrat in the state, she would try to copy that strategy. However, she pointed out that Lands’ strategy likely would not have succeeded in a district in other, more conservative, parts of the state.

Copyright 2024,