Field Developing For Cramer Seat

Advertising executive Wayne Parker, the unsuccessful GOP nominee against Rep. Bud Cramer (D-Ala.) in 1994 and 1996, appears that he will again be the likely Republican nominee for the seat -- now that Cramer has announced his retirement.

On his campaign site, Parker announces that he is “tentatively” kicking off his campaign this Thursday at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration in Huntsville, Alabama.

Parker appears to be the frontrunner for the nomination now that state senator Tom Butler has abandoned plans to switch parties and run as a Republican, according to the Alabama political blog Doc’s Political Parlor. Butler had been recruited by the state’s Republican governor, Bob Riley, to run for the open seat race.

Attorney Ray McKee has also filed to run in the primary, though is viewed as a long-shot in state GOP circles.

Meanwhile, Democrats are coalescing behind the campaign of 66-year-old state senator Parker Griffith, who announced his candidacy earlier this month. Griffith, who represents the district’s base of Huntsville in the state Senate, is well-known for establishing the first comprehensive cancer center in North Alabama

The district, which has never elected a Republican to Congress, still has a conservative mindset. It gave President Bush 60 percent of the vote in 2004.