A Democrat has emerged
to challenge for an open congressional seat in a Republican-leaning (aren't they all?) district in Birmingham, Ala.
He's Birmingham-Southern college professor Mark Lester
, who happens to be a Little Rock native.
The seat is currently held by Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus
, who's retiring. A Democrat who was planning to challenge the Republican nominee withdrew from the race for business reasons. So Lester volunteered to run and the Democratic Party will decide on making him the nominee Saturday.
Lester's put out a statement on Thursday night explaining why he chose to run.
"Our country is built on a two party system. People need to have a choice. No one should run unopposed," Lester said in a written statement.
Lester, who holds a law degree as well as a Ph.D. in history from Oxford, has taught history and law at the college since 1991. He practiced law for a time in Little Rock after graduating from law school in 1979, (not 1973 as I originally wrote, that's when he graduated from Rhodes Colege.) He's an ACLU Board member in Alabama.