The Circus Comes to Town


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The candidates pass through Birmingham.
Written and photographed by Cameron Carnes

This election cycle, the State of Alabama, alongside Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia, moved their primary dates up to March 1 in an effort to make the South a more important factor in the nomination process. With visits from Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Bernie Sanders, Birmingham got its chance to see the candidates up close and personal. Unfortunately, I was on vacation when Donald Trump came to town in November and was covering Marco Rubio when Hillary Clinton visited in February. Just my kind of luck to miss the eventual nominees. 

“1.2 million citizens participated in Alabama’s election on March 1. This is without a doubt the largest number our state has ever seen in a presidential primary. We attribute this enthusiastic response to the SEC Primary and the excitement that our people have demonstrated as the presidential candidates came to our state and interacted with our people. All of the major candidates had multiple visits to Alabama, interacted with our people on a personal level, and made sure that they got to know them, understanding their philosophies and ensuring that they would participate in the process.”—John Merrill, the Secretary of State’s office

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