Shomari Figures, Dobson

New Candidates Selected For Alabama’s New Congressional District 

Shomari Figures and Caroleene Dobson will face off for Alabama’s newly redrawn 2nd Congressional District.

A primary run-off election determined the two candidates who will face off for Alabama’s newly redrawn 2nd Congressional District.

Shomari Figures secured the Democratic nomination with 61% of the vote, totaling 21,926 votes over state House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, who received 13,990 votes. The Republican nominee will face political newcomer Caroleene Dobson who beat out former state legislator Dick Brewbaker with 58% of the vote. 

At 38, Figures is an attorney and former Obama White House executive with deep roots in Alabama’s political culture. The son of state Sen. Vivian Davis Figures and the late Senate President Pro Tem Michael Figures, who is credited with helping to bankrupt the Ku Klux Klan in the 1980s. Figures also worked under U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland as deputy chief of staff and counselor. His national political connections have helped him secure close to $2 million in outside spending from groups like the Washington-based political action committee Protect Progress. 

Dobson is also an attorney and works with numerous organizations, including the Alabama Forestry Commission and the Federalist Society, and serves on the board of the Southeastern Livestock Exposition.

The run-off election, held on April 16, has been a hot item political ticket and is closely watched given its implications for control of Congress in November 2024. There is also the topic of how the election will affect the Supreme Court’s orders requiring states, including Alabama, to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act and eliminate racial gerrymandering. 

In 2023, Alabama GOP lawmakers resisted creating a district for Black voters — twice — to at least come close to comprising a majority. The GOP-controlled Alabama Legislature drew new lines over the summer of 2023 after the U.S. Supreme Court stood in favor of the panel in June after the panel found the map, with only one majority-Black district out of seven in a state with a 27% Black resident population, likely violated the U.S. Voting Rights Act.

The new Alabama map was one of three designed by a court-appointed special master for consideration. The panel included two judges appointed by former President Donald Trump. The third was appointed by former President Ronald Reagan and then elevated to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by former President Bill Clinton.

Republicans have control of Congress by a tight margin of 218 to 213, with four vacant seats. Figures winning in November would represent one seat flipping control from Republican to Democrat.

Democrats would need to flip five seats in the 435-seat House of Representatives to take back the majority in the November 2024 election.