Thirty-six candidates are running for Alabama’s seven U.S. House districts—a decade-high

This year’s filing deadline for candidates running for Congress in Alabama was Nov. 10, 2023. 

Thirty-six candidates are running for Alabama’s seven U.S. House districts, including 15 Democrats and 21 Republicans. That’s 5.14 candidates per district, more than in the previous three election cycles. There were 3.14 candidates per district in 2022, 3.57 candidates per district in 2020, and 3.28 in 2018.

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  • This is the first election to take place under new district lines that a three-judge panel of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama approved on Oct. 5, 2023.
  • The 36 candidates running this year are a decade-high. Twenty-one candidates ran in 2022, 25 in 2020, 23 in 2018, 16 in 2016, 20 in 2014, and 23 in 2012.
  • Two incumbents—Reps. Jerry Carl (R) and Barry Moore (R)—are running against each other in the redrawn 1st congressional district.  Carl is the incumbent in the current 1st district, and Moore is the incumbent in the 2nd congressional district. 
  • The redrawn 2nd district is the only open district this year, meaning no incumbents are running.
  • Nineteen candidates—11 Democrats and eight Republicans—are running for the open 2nd district, the most candidates running for a seat this year. 
  • Eight primaries—two Democratic and six Republican—are contested this year, a decade-high. Five primaries were contested in 2022 and 2020, seven were contested in 2018, four were contested in 2016 and 2014, and six were contested in 2012.
  • Rep. Dale Strong (R), the incumbent in the 5th district, is the only incumbent not facing any primary challengers this year.
  • The 3rd, 4th, and 5th Congressional districts are guaranteed to Republicans because no Democrats filed to run. Republicans filed to run in every congressional district, meaning none are guaranteed to Democrats. 

Alabama and four other states—Arkansas, California, North Carolina, and Texas—are holding primaries on March 5. 

In Alabama, a primary candidate must win a majority of the vote to be declared the winner. If no candidate wins the requisite majority, the top two vote-getters advance to a runoff.