Government and Politics
The Democratic party has long dominated Alabama politics at the state and local levels. In contests for U.S. president, however, the Democrats after World War II lost their traditional firm hold on the state's electoral vote. Since 1948 the state's presidential electoral votes have often gone either to the Republicans or to minor-party candidates, as in 1968, when Alabama governor George C. Wallace carried the state as the American Independent party candidate. Two recent governors, Guy Hunt (1987 -93) and Forrest " Fob" James (1995 -99), were both elected as Republicans. U.S. senator Richard Shelby switched from the Democratic to the Republican party a day after the 1994 congressional elections. In 1998, however, Democrat Don Siegelman won the gubernatorial election.