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Analysis: Trial lawyers spend big in Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice race

Trial lawyers and their political affiliates made a powerful impact in the 2024 primary election for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme court.

Associate Justice Sarah Stewart, who won the GOP primary by a decisive 60-40% margin received over $1.5 million of her total $2.5 million contributions from seven PACs associated with trial lawyer firms. More than $1 million came from three: T-TOWN PAC II, PRIDE PAC II, and Progress for Justice PAC.

The seven PACs and the amount in which they contributed to Stewart:

(Compiled from Alabama Secretary of State FCPA database)

Numerous firms made contributions to the groups in a similar timeframe. When the PACs received those contributions, they invested them in Stewart’s principal campaign committee in amounts just below the state’s major contribution threshold. 

Detailed breakdown of the top three PAC’s transactions:

In contrast, Stewart’s opponent, Bryan Taylor, was unable to keep pace in fundraising. Without support from large firms, Taylor raised his share largely from contributions made by PACs affiliated with business and industry groups. 

Bryan Taylor’s large contributions broken down:

In addition to these direct contributions, Fair Courts America PAC spent $686,900 on Taylor in 2024: $647,900 to Nebo Media for “TV Production and Placement” and $39,000 to Adar Partners, LLC for “Text Messaging.” The National Association of Realtors Fund spent $167,600 on “Video Production, Advertising, And Text Messages in Support of Bryan Taylor, Supreme Court Chief Justice” in February.

Grayson Everett is the state and political editor for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @Grayson270

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