Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, is facing what may be his toughest election contest in years tomorrow.
Bachus faces a primary challenge from three other candidates, Scott Beason of Gardendale, Ala., a state senator; Blount County Probate Judge David Standridge and a pharmacist named Al Mickle. Media outlets have reported an impression that Bachus is struggling in the race despite there not having been independent polling to measure voter opinion.
In an endorsing editorial, the Birmingham News commented on what it judged to have been a lackluster Bachus campaign so far.
“He has run a desultory campaign attacking President Barack Obama as a socialist rather than making much of a case for his own re-election,” the paper wrote and then noted that Bachus is the subject of an investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics into whether he used his office for personal gain. Bachus has denied this.
That investigation, combined with Bachus’ long tenure in the House, has helped fuel the drive to replace him, media outlets have written.
Bachus has been known for saying good things about credit unions but has not sponsored the effort to raise the cap on member business loans.
Bachus, who has been the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee since last January, has already announced he will step down from the post at the end of the year. He said he won’t seek a waiver of the House Republicans’ rule limiting someone to a total of six years as chairman or ranking member of a committee.