The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

October 14, 2012

State Democrat Party's future hinges on 74-year-old

— MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Democrat Lucy Baxley and Republican Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh, two women who broke the political glass ceiling in Alabama, are battling each other for the second time for Public Service Commission president. However, this time, the outcome could relegate the state Democratic Party to minor party status.

Baxley, 74, is the only Democrat currently holding a statewide office in Alabama. She is one of only two Democrats seeking statewide office in the election Nov. 6. The party fielded no one for the 10 other statewide offices on the ballot.

Cavanaugh, 46, has already ousted a sitting Democrat once. In the 2010 election, she defeated Democratic PSC member Jan Cook, who at the time was the longest-serving Democrat in statewide office. Now, she wants the president's seat on the three-member board.

Baxley narrowly beat Cavanaugh for the presidency in 2008, but she trails her badly this time in fundraising. Baxley described her fundraising as "pitiful because people won't give me money."

She said many Democratic contributors are focusing their money on the chief justice contest, which is the only other contested race for statewide office.

"They say things like, 'Lucy, you don't have anything to worry about,'" she said.

A campaigner who once thought nothing of 30 to 40 appearances week, Baxley is now in a wheelchair due to a stroke in 2006 and two bad falls that followed. She says three or four appearances a week are about her limit. Much of her work for the campaign and for the PSC is done from home by email and phone.

When asked if she's healthy enough for another four years, she said adamantly: "Yes, I can still serve the people of Alabama."

Cavanaugh, 46, has a busy speaking schedule around the state. She said she's not trying to destroy Baxley's lengthy career of state service, but the PSC needs a more active president who can be at work every day.

Text Only
Local News
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee