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Sen. Richard Shelby faces challenge from Democratic newcomer William Barnes [View All]

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ccharles000 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:20 PM
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Sen. Richard Shelby faces challenge from Democratic newcomer William Barnes
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WASHINGTON -- A first-time political contender has qualified to run as a Democrat against Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, in this November's general election.

Birmingham-area attorney William Barnes, 61, said he decided to run out of concern that Shelby has not faced major competition in the past. Acknowledging that he cannot compete with Shelby's huge campaign warchest -which totaled $15.3 million at the end of September--Barnes said he plans to mount "a total grassroots effort."

"I'm taking it seriously," he said.

A Vietnam veteran who served in the Air Force from 1967 to 1971, Barnes is a retired federal employee who lives in the Jefferson County city of Clay and practices both criminal and civil law in the Birmingham suburb of Center Point. Among other issues, he singled out Shelby's opposition to Democratic legislation to overhaul the health care system.

"Really, it appears to me that he's taking the position of big business instead of the people's position," Barnes said. Shelby,75, has served in the Senate since 1987 and is seeking a fifth, six-year term. He has never faced a serious re-election threat.
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