U.S. Senate elections could have big consequences for Alabama

By PAUL DEMARCO / Guest Columnist

Note: This is an opinion column.

While all of the focus for the fall election is on the race for the president, the battle for the United States Senate is brewing as well.

The Republicans have a slim majority, but there are competitive races across the Nation that could put the GOP leadership in jeopardy.

And if the Democrats take over the Senate, the consequences for Alabama will be big.

With Republicans in charge, Alabama Senator Richard Shelby chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, one of the most powerful positions in the United States Congress.

From that position, he controls the pursestrings for the Senate and guides spending priorities for the Nation. In addition, he has brought millions of dollars of federal funds back home to Alabama. He has directed dollars to the state for everything from road projects to universities to airports and the state port.

In Alabama’s 200 years of history, there are few that have served in the level of the United States Congressional leadership that Senator Shelby has in in his tenure in office.

A loss of the majority by Republicans will mean a lot of things to the country, but for Alabama it will mean a loss of leadership and influence in the United States Senate we may not see again for decades.

Paul DeMarco is a former member of the Alabama House of Representatives.