Political columnist Steve Flowers says while congressional districts will change in the state due to population shifts, U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt will likely still represent Walker and Winston counties in the end.
Speaking to the Kiwanis Club of Jasper Monday, Flowers, whose column runs Wednesdays in the Daily Mountain Eagle, noted Walker County has also had political power in the state, including the Bankhead family. He plans a column next year about the power of the 4th Congressional District, including the Bankheads and the late U.S. Rep. Tom Bevill.
"During that 25 year era when he was in Congress, the rest of us in the state referred to him as our third U.S. senator," he said. "He was that powerful."
He said the most powerful man in the House delegation today is Aderholt, due to seniority.
Flowers also said the county's delegation in the Alabama Legislature is good, noting he really likes Sen. Greg Reed and Reps. Connie Rowe and Tim Wadsworth.
"I think Connie Rowe is in line to be chairman of Rules if Mike Jones takes president of junior college in Andalusia," he said. "Greg Reed is also on a very fast track."
He noted that slow population growth or declines in the state will likely result in losing a congressional seat after the 2020 Census, adding that losses have been seen in the Black Belt and south Alabama in general.
"The state is moving north. Y'all are in good shape. I don't think Walker County is going to change any. I think Robert Aderholt is going to have deference. He's going to keep Walker County, Winston and Haleyville, Cullman, and what is the 4th District - but it may change numbers to the 3rd. I suspect he may go up into Huntsville," Flowers said.
He said Huntsville is poised to grow faster than any city not only in Alabama but the South and in the nation, to the point it may be covered with two congressional districts. It is also showing major economic growth.
"There is no city in the South that has the per capita income or the per capita education level than Huntsville has," he said, comparing it to Silicon Valley. Speaking to a couple hundred Huntsville Rotarians a couple of years ago, he asked how many were were Ph.D.s and half of the hands went up. He noted how major industries are lining up to come to Huntsville.