Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama is headed back to Alabama early next month for at least one campaign event in Birmingham.
At the invitation of Rep. Artur Davis' reelection campaign, Obama will hold a "small-dollar" fundraiser at the BJCC on Monday, July 9. General admission will be a $25 donation to the Obama campaign. Doors open at 5 p.m.
The visit will be Obama’s second in Alabama since declaring his candidacy. In March, Obama and primary rival Sen. Hillary Clinton held dueling campaign visits during the Bloody Sunday commemoration in Selma. There, both candidates drew curious thousands, who packed inside and around two churches in Selma and followed the candidates across the Edmund Pettis Bridge. (Read story here.)
With its Feb. 5 presidential primary next year, Alabama could be a crucial state for Obama. His rivals, John Edwards and Clinton, lead in Iowa and New Hampshire, respectively, but with more than 20 states packing into the Feb. 5 “Super-duper Tuesday” date, the primary process next year promises to be less incremental and deliberate than before. In essence, Alabama has become part of a virtually national primary.
While other states have crowded into the Feb. 5 primary, Alabama has seen increased traffic from candidates since the move. Last week, Sen. John McCain made his fifth trip to Alabama to speak to the Birmingham Veterans of Foreign Wars and an Alabama Republican Party fundraiser. Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has visited the state twice. Edwards has held at least three fundraisers here, and Sen. Clinton held a $4,600 per plate fundraiser in Mobile last month.
However, few of the candidates have demonstrated the star power of Obama, who drew a crowd of 5,000 in Greenville, S.C. on Friday. Late last week, a Mason-Dixon poll showed Obama leading Clinton by nine points in South Carolina, which holds its primary one week before Alabama.
Here's the press release from Artur Davis' campaign.
CONGRESSMAN DAVIS ANNOUNCES THE RETURN OF PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BARACK OBAMA TO ALABAMA
- Public invited to show support at small-dollar fundraiser -
BIRMINGHAM – U.S. Representative Artur Davis (D-Ala.) is announcing the return of Illinois U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama to the state of Alabama in early July.
Sen. Obama is scheduled to appear in Birmingham July 9th at the Downtown Sheraton Hotel Ballroom at a small-dollar fundraiser for supporters interested in experiencing the man who has captured the imagination of people from all across the nation. This will be Obama’s second visit to Alabama this year. During his first visit, Obama served as the keynote speaker to a capacity standing-room-only crowd at Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma in early March during the commemoration of the Selma-to-Montgomery Civil Rights March.
Congressman Davis, a fellow Harvard Law graduate who was one of the first members of Congress to endorse Obama’s candidacy, is pleased that the senator is showing the state of Alabama this much attention this early in the presidential contest.
“This clearly shows that Senator Obama appreciates the people of Alabama and believes he can win this primary on February 5th of next year,” Davis said. “Senator Obama’s campaign continues to demonstrate great strength through his fundraising and he leads in at least one national poll. He also continues to consistently out poll the leading Republican candidates showing that he will be a serious candidate for the White House in the fall of 2008.”
This event is scheduled for Monday, July 9th at the Sheraton Hotel Ballroom. Tickets are $25 per person and can be ordered online at www.barackobama.com or by contacting Congressman Davis’s campaign office at 205-322-9096.
— Kyle Whitmire