Candidates for Governor:
Robert Bentley (R)
Robert Julian Bentley (born February 3, 1943) is an American politician and medical doctor who is the 53rd and current Governor of Alabama. A member of the Republican Party, Bentley was elected Governor in 2010 and was sworn in on January 17, 2011.
Born in Columbiana, Alabama, Bentley served in the United States Air Force as general medical officer at Pope Air Force Base in Fayetteville, North Carolina from 1969 to 1975, leaving with the rank of a captain. He earned his M.D. from the University of Alabama School of Medicine before entering private practice and opening a series of dermatology clinics throughout the southern United States.
Bentley was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 2002 and served a total of two four-year terms from 2002 to 2010. After term-limited Governor Bob Riley could not seek reelection, Bentley announced his intentions to run for the Republican nomination for Governor. Bentley won in a seven candidate primary and faced Democrat Ron Sparks, the outgoing Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture, in the general election. Bentley received just over 58% of the statewide vote and won by a margin of over 230,000 votes--the largest margin recorded for a Republican in an open-seat race in Alabama history.
Parker Griffith (D)
Rolf 'Parker' Parker Griffith, Jr., M.D. (born August 6, 1942) is a retired radiation oncology physician, math teacher, Army Reserve officer, entrepreneur and American politician who was first elected to the Alabama State Senate 2006-2008, and later as a U.S. Representative for Alabama's 5th congressional district from 2009 to 2011. He is a lifelong member of the Democratic Party, though while serving in Congress, at the urging of Republicans he briefly switched from the Democratic Party on December 22, 2009, and was defeated in the subsequent Republican primary in 2010 by Tea Party favorite “Mo” Brooks, and his term ended in January 2011.
Jeff Sessions (R)
Jefferson Beauregard "Jeff" Sessions III (born December 24, 1946) is the junior United States Senator from Alabama. First elected in 1996, Sessions is a member of the Republican Party. He serves as the ranking minority member on the Senate Budget Committee.
From 1981 to 1993 he served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama. President Ronald Reagan nominated him to a judgeship on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama in 1986, but he was not confirmed. Sessions was elected to Attorney General of Alabama in 1994. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996 and easily re-elected in 2002 and 2008. He and his colleague Richard Shelby are the state's first two-term Republican Senators since Reconstruction.
Sessions was ranked by National Journal in 2007 as the fifth-most conservative U.S. Senator, siding strongly with the Republican Party on political issues. He supported the major legislative efforts of the George W. Bush administration, including the 2001 and 2003 tax cut packages, the Iraq War, and a proposed national amendment to ban same-sex marriage. However, he was one of 25 senators to oppose the establishment of TARP. He has opposed the Democratic leadership since 2007 on most major legislation, including the stimulus bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act. As the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, he opposed both of President Barack Obama's nominees for the Supreme Court.