One opponent had been rumored for weeks. The other came pretty much out of the blue.
But for now, U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Vestavia Hills) will face at least two opponents in the GOP primary election on March 13.
State Sen. Scott Beason confirmed the rumors Thursday morning, when he announced his candidacy at a press conference at Alabama GOP Headquarters in Homewood. Beason, known nationally for his sponsorship of Alabama's touch immigration law and for his testimony in the federal bingo corruption trial, was the subject of speculation after local residents began receiving automated telephone calls some weeks ago, asking who they would support in a Congressional race. About that same time, a "Draft Scott Beason for Congress" page appeared on Facebook.
Blount County Probate Judge David Standridge, who is also the president of the Blount Commission, is a somewhat unexpected entry into the fray, though. The Hayden resident sent a press release announcing his candidacy about the same time as Beason's press conference. He will make his official announcement Friday at 2 p.m. at the Blount County Courthouse in Oneonta.
The press release was a source of some confusion for a time, as it listed Standridge as running in the Fourth Congressional District, which meant he would face incumbent Robert Aderholt. Blount County and Hayden were in Aderholt's district during the last decade, but when district lines were redrawn by the Alabama Legislature in its most recent session, most of Blount was moved from the fourth to the sixth, where Bachus has served since 1992.
Both candidates are taking on an incumbent who wields considerable influence in Washington as the chairman of the powerful House Committee on Financial Services. Bachus attained that post when the House majority switched from Democrat to Republican in the 2010 election cycle; before that, he was the ranking minority member under the chairmanship of Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.).