In less than a year, Alabamians will go to the polls to vote in the primary for the state's 2014 gubernatorial election. Right now, it looks like Democrats may not have anyone to vote for.
In a likely race against Republican Gov. Robert Bentley, Democrats have so far yet to field a single candidate. Compare that to the 2010 governor's race, when the eventual Democratic nominee started campaiging in April 2009. But Nancy Worley, the acting chair of the state's Democratic Party, isn't sweating it. "If around Labor Day we haven't heard anybody definitely commit to a race, then you start to get worried," she told the Alabama Media Group.
But that may be overly optimistic.
Alabama is not a friendly place for Democrats right now. There are no Democratic statewide officials. The state has only one Democratic member of Congress. In 2012, Mitt Romney beat President Obama 60.7 percent to 38.4 percent. In the six congressional districts held by Republicans, Democrats barely made a dent in the last election. The last Democratic candidate for governor, Ron Sparks, lost to Bentley 57.9 percent to 42.1 percent.
Oh, and the last high-profile Democrat from the state? He's a Republican now.
And it's not just the gubernatorial race that's a challenge for Democrats: According to Worley, no Democrats have announced campaigns for statewide office in 2014. It's a steep fall for a party that, until 2010, had held the state Legislature for 136 years. But right now, with no one ready to take up the mantle, Alabama's Democratic Party seems to still have at least a few more years left in the wilderness.