— BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Facing only minimal opposition in districts where voting patterns make their re-election seem all but certain, some members of Alabama's congressional delegation are doing as much campaigning for other candidates as themselves this fall.
Six of Alabama's seven House members have major-party opposition in the November election, but a close race in even one district seems unlikely based on historical trends. Of six challengers, only two have held elected office before, and none is well-funded.
So Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, is helping campaign for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in the battleground state of Ohio, and Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Birmingham, has been to Ohio and North Carolina on behalf of President Barack Obama.
Brooks represents the Republican-leaning Tennessee Valley region of North Alabama, while Sewell's district extends from Birmingham into the state's traditionally Democratic Black Belt region.
His own seat safe, Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Haleyville, has made two campaign swings through his northwest Alabama district. He has appeared with local Republican candidates who are trying to broaden the party's base in courthouses, many of which still have Democratic officeholders.
"The message is that Obama's got us going in the wrong direction in this country, and we not only have to change things in Washington but we've got to elect good, solid Republicans at the courthouse level," said Shana Kluck, a spokeswoman for the Alabama GOP.
Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Mobile, is the only congressional incumbent without opposition from one of the two major parties. In contested House races:
—District 2: Republican Rep. Martha Roby of Montgomery is challenged by Therese Ford, a Democratic attorney and teacher in Montgomery.
—District 3: Republican Rep. Mike Rogers of Saks is opposed by Democrat John Andrew Harris, a longtime Lee County commissioner.
—District 4: Aderholt is opposed by Democrat state Rep. Daniel H. Boman, an attorney from Sulligent in Lamar County.
—District 5: Brooks is being challenged by Charlie L. Holley, a Democratic computer administrator and minister from Huntsville.
—District 6: Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus of Vestavia Hills is opposed by Democrat Penny Bailey, a retired Air Force colonel from Birmingham.
—District 7: Sewell is opposed by Republican Don Chamberlain, a businessman and inventor from Selma.
Sewell, who has a one-person campaign staff, is speaking at churches and meeting voters at a limited number of appearances. But she also hosted a fundraiser for the Washington-based Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Birmingham and accompanied first lady Michelle Obama when she made a fundraising stop in the city in July.
Aderholt's schedule has included an event in Muscle Shoals, where he was joined by eight Republicans seeking local offices.
"It's more about others than him," Kluck said. "He's been very generous with this."