A panel of three federal judges has upheld Alabama's new legislative districts.
The judges split 2-to-1 in a decision Friday that said the new districts are not discriminatory and do not violate the Voting Rights Act or the Constitution.
The Legislative Black Caucus and the Alabama Democratic Conference had sued over the districts, which were designed by the Legislature's Republican majority. State Attorney General Luther Strange, who defended the new districts in court, says he's pleased the judges found the districts consistent with federal law.
Democratic state Sen. Quinton Ross of Montgomery is seeking re-election after not being selected president of Alabama State University.
Ross was one of three finalists interviewed by the Alabama State trustees Friday, but they chose Gwendolyn Boyd from John Hopkins University.
Shortly after the selection, Ross announced he will run for a fourth term next year. Ross said he was thankful to be nominated to the Alabama State position, but he looks forward to continuing to represent his Montgomery County constituents.
The state teachers' organization, a mining company and an Indian tribe that operates casinos are among the top campaign contributions in Alabama for next year's elections.
Campaign finance records show the Alabama Education Association has donated $770,000 to candidates since June. AEA Executive Secretary Henry Mabry said the group is donating to Democrats and Republicans who support public education.
The Birmingham-based Drummond Co. has donated $489,000. That included $25,000 donations to both Gov. Robert Bentley and Attorney General Luther Strange.
Statewide elections are still more than a year away, but candidates are busy raising money.
The Anniston Star reported Sunday that state finance records show more than $11 million has been raised since June — when candidates first became eligible to receive contributions for their 2014 campaigns.
The newspaper says Republican candidates have picked up $6.8 million of that cash, while Democrats garnered only $861,000. Political action committees pulled in $6.3 million over the same time period.
Republican Public Service Commission member Terry Dunn has formally kicked off his re-election campaign after drawing three opponents.
Dunn announced Tuesday that he will run on a record of telling the public about the PSC being too cozy with the utilities it regulates.
He also says he'll keep pushing for a formal rate hearing for Alabama Power. He predicts that a change in Alabama Power's rate structure that was recently approved by the other two commissioners will not bring an appreciable decrease in rates.
A Jefferson County minister is running for lieutenant governor in the Republican primary against incumbent Kay Ivey.
Stan Cooke announced his candidacy Tuesday in Montgomery. Cooke is pastor of the Kimberly Church of God and is founder and president of a Christian mission organization that supports programs in Israel. He previously ran in the 6th Congressional District in 2010 against Republican Spencer Bachus.
Outgoing Secretary of State Beth Chapman has endorsed one of her employees, Adam Thompson, for state auditor.
In a statement Thursday, Chapman said Thompson was her right hand when she served as state auditor from 2003 to 2007, and he is the only candidate with experience in the auditor's office. Thompson currently works in the secretary of state's office.
He faces Anniston attorney Ray Bryan in the Republican primary on June 3, 2014. Democrat Miranda Joseph of Birmingham is also running.
The Alabama Forestry Association has thrown its support to Gov. Robert Bentley's re-election campaign.
Bentley said Thursday the forestry group was the first major organization to endorse him in 2010 and now it's the first for the 2014 election. But there's a big difference. It didn't endorse him in 2010 until after he won the Republican primary.
An Autauga County resident plans to run as a Democrat against Republican Kay Ivey.
Scott Ninesling (nihn-SLING') says he's making his first race for public office because he doesn't like how Ivey administered the state's prepaid college tuition program as state treasurer and how she's presided over the state Senate as lieutenant governor.
Ninesling is out of the country every other month because of his job as a fire chief at a liquefied natural gas plant in Africa, but he says he plans to run a well-planned campaign while he's home.
Democrats are organizing multiple training sessions in Alabama to try to reinvigorate a party that has fallen to minority status in state government.
A new organization, the Alabama Democratic Majority, has announced a "grassroots convention" Aug. 3 in Birmingham. Executive Director Bradley Davidson says it will cover everything from registering voters to helping voters comply with Alabama's new law requiring a photo ID to vote.
Democrat Miranda Joseph of Birmingham is making another run for state auditor.
Joseph ran against Republican incumbent Samantha Shaw in 2010 and lost. She has filed papers with the state to run again in 2014, when Shaw won't be on the ballot.
Joseph has created a campaign website and says she plans a formal kickoff soon. She is stressing her work as a certified internal auditor. Joseph filed a report with the state last week saying she had not yet raised or spent $25,000 on her campaign. That's the threshold for filing periodic reports of donations.
Secretary of State Beth Chapman is taking a political consulting job with the Alabama Farmers Federation when she resigns her public office at the end of the month.
Federation officials say Chapman will start her new job Aug. 1 and work through the 2014 election.
The federation's director of government relations, Brian Hardin, says the organization has a long-standing relationship with Chapman, including endorsing her for state auditor and then two races for secretary of state.