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Alabama's 6th congressional district

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Title: Alabama's 6th congressional district  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: United States congressional delegations from Alabama, Ben Erdreich, Spencer Bachus, Alabama's congressional districts, Richmond P. Hobson
Collection: 1843 Establishments in Alabama, Congressional Districts of Alabama
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Alabama's 6th congressional district

Alabama's 6th congressional district
Alabama's 6th congressional district - since January 3, 2013.
Alabama's 6th congressional district - since January 3, 2013.
Current Representative Gary Palmer (RVestavia Hills)
Area 4,649 mi2
Distribution 62.1% urban, 37.9% rural
Population (2000) 635,300
Median income $46,946
Ethnicity 88.8% White, 7.7% Black, 0.9% Asian, 1.6% Hispanic, 0.3% Native American, 0.7% other
Occupation 22.1% blue collar, 67.7% white collar, 10.2% gray collar
Cook PVI R+28[1]

Alabama's 6th congressional district is a United States congressional district in Alabama that elects a representative to the United States House of Representatives. It is composed of the wealthier portions of Birmingham, nearly all of Jefferson County outside of Birmingham, and the entirety of Bibb, Blount, Chilton, Coosa, and Shelby counties.

It is currently represented by Republican Gary Palmer. The Cook Partisan Voting Index rating lists the district as tied with Texas's 13th congressional district as being the most Republican districts in the United States.[2]


  • Character 1
  • History 2
  • Voting 3
  • List of representatives 4
  • Previous election results 5
    • 2002 5.1
    • 2004 5.2
    • 2006 5.3
    • 2008 5.4
    • 2010 5.5
    • 2012 5.6
    • 2014 5.7
  • Living former Members 6
  • Historical district boundaries 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9


Once encompassing all of 2004. John McCain swept the district in 2008, taking 75.91% of the vote while Barack Obama received 23.28%.

The demography of the district consists mostly of middle and upper middle-class white-collar families who work in Birmingham. Increasingly, the population of the Birmingham districts has become racially polarized, with most whites moving from the city to the suburbs mostly in nearby Shelby County (which both grew by 44% in the 1990s and has become more than 90% white), whilst the African American population has remained largely in urban areas.

Once the vanguard district for steel production and metalworking in the South, the economy of the district in recent years has centered on the banking industry (Birmingham being the second largest banking area in the South) and health care/medical research. Socially the district remains conservative; however, fiscal conservatism is the most salient feature of this district.


Alabama's 6th Congressional District was originally created in 1843. It encompassed the northeastern portion of Alabama, approximately the modern counties of DeKalb, Jackson, Madison, Marshall, Etowah, St. Clair, Blount and Cullman.

The district had a population of 66,111 as of the 1840 U.S. Census, which made it the second least populous district in Alabama.[3] Neither Cullman County nor Etowah County existed at the time, so only the eastern portion of what today is Cullman County was in the district. In the case of St. Clair County, it appears that only about half of St. Clair County in 1843 was in the district.

The district was redrawn in 1855. This was done in time for the election of representatives to the 34th Congress which was held August 6th, 1855. The new boundaries put Cherokee County in the 6th District and removed St. Clair County. These boundaries remained in place until the Civil War.

When Alabama again elected representatives to the U.S. Congress in 1868 for the halfway completed Limestone, Franklin, Lauderdale and Winston counties. Colbert County did not exist at the time, but was part of Franklin County. This was one of the areas of Alabama where the Democrats soonest regained control after the Civil War.

In 1876, the 6th District was redrawn again. The sixth-most northern counties (including Colbert County which now existed) were transferred to the new Alabama 8th Congressional District, while the six counties southwestward from Jefferson County were transferred to the 6th District.

This set of boundaries only existed for one election. By the time of the 1878 election, Cullman County had been formed. It was in the 6th District, but Blount County was moved to the 8th District. The boundaries did not exactly correspond to county lines at that time, and with another change in county boundaries by 1880 even more area in the general vicinity of Blount County was moved to the 7th District. This process was continued in 1884 with the removal of Cullman County from the district.

The year of 1892 saw more changes in the boundaries of the 6th District. Winston County was moved to the 7th District. At the same time Jefferson County was placed in the new 9th District. By this time the 6th District consisted of west central Alabama. In the 1892 election there were about 22,000 votes cast in the 6th District as opposed to 30,000 cast in the 9th District.[4]

In 1902, Perry County and some other areas in the southern portion of Alabama's 9th Congressional District were transferred to the 6th District.


Election results from statewide races
Year Office Results
2012 President Romney 74 - 25%
2008 President McCain 76 - 23%
2004 President Bush 78 - 22%
2000 President Bush 74 - 25%

List of representatives

Congress Representative Party Years Notes
District created March 4, 1843
28th-29th Reuben Chapman Democratic March 4, 1843 – March 3, 1847 Redistricted from the At-large district
30th-36th Williamson Robert Winfield Cobb March 4, 1847 – January 30, 1861
37th-39th (1861–1868) Civil War and Reconstruction
40th Thomas Haughey Republican July 21, 1868 – March 3, 1869
41st William Crawford Sherrod Democratic March 4, 1869 – March 3, 1871
42nd-43rd Joseph Humphrey Sloss March 4, 1871 – March 3, 1875
44th-45th Goldsmith W. Hewitt March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1879
46th Burwell Boykin Lewis March 4, 1879 – October 1, 1880 Resigned after accepting position as President of the University of Alabama
46th Newton Nash Clements December 8, 1880 – March 3, 1881
47th-48th Goldsmith W. Hewitt March 4, 1881 – March 3, 1885
49th John Mason Martin March 4, 1885 – March 3, 1887
50th-59th John H. Bankhead March 4, 1887 – March 3, 1907
60th-63rd Richmond P. Hobson March 4, 1907 – March 3, 1915
64th-74th William B. Oliver March 4, 1915 – January 3, 1937
75th-80th Pete Jarman January 3, 1937 – January 3, 1949
81st-82nd Edward deGraffenried January 3, 1949 – January 3, 1953
83rd-87th Armistead I. Selden, Jr. January 3, 1953 – January 3, 1963 Redistricted to the At-large district
88th January 3, 1963 – January 3, 1965 District inactive, all representatives elected At-large on a general ticket
89th-96th John H. Buchanan, Jr. Republican January 3, 1965 – January 3, 1981
97th Albert L. Smith, Jr. January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1983
98th-102nd Ben Erdreich Democratic January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1993
103rd-113th Spencer Bachus Republican January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2015
114th- Gary Palmer Republican January 3, 2015 –

Previous election results


Alabama's 6th Congressional District House Election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Spencer T. Bachus III* 178,171 89.83%
Libertarian J. Holden McAllister 19,639 9.90%
Write-in Write-ins 536 0.27%
Majority 158,532 79.93%
Total votes 198,346 100.00
Republican hold


Alabama's 6th Congressional District House Election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Spencer T. Bachus III* 264,819 98.80%
Write-in Write-ins 3,224 1.20%
Majority 261,595 97.60%
Total votes 268,043 100.00
Republican hold


Alabama's 6th Congressional District House Election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Spencer T. Bachus III* 163,514 98.33%
Write-in Write-ins 2,786 1.67%
Majority 160,728 96.66%
Total votes 166,300 100.00
Republican hold


Alabama's 6th Congressional District House Election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Spencer T. Bachus III* 280,902 97.79%
Write-in Write-ins 6,335 2.21%
Majority 274,567 95.58%
Total votes 287,237 100.00
Republican hold


Alabama's 6th Congressional District House Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Spencer T. Bachus III* 205,288 100.00%
Majority 205,288 100.00%
Total votes 205,288 100.00
Republican hold


Alabama's 6th Congressional District House Election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Spencer T. Bachus III* 219,016 71.31%
Democratic Penny Bailey 88,102 28.69%
Majority 130,914 42.62%
Total votes 307,118 100.00
Republican hold


Alabama's 6th Congressional District House Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Gary Palmer 135,935 76.2%
Democratic Mark Lester 42,291 23.7%
Majority 93,754 53.5%
Total votes 178,449 100.00
Republican hold


Living former Members

As of April 2015, there are two former members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Alabama's 6th congressional district that are currently living.

Representative Term in office Date of birth (and age)
Ben Erdreich 1983 - 1993 (1938-12-09) December 9, 1938
Spencer Bachus 1993 - 2015 (1947-12-28) December 28, 1947

Historical district boundaries

2003 - 2013

See also


  1. ^ "Partisan Voting Index Districts of the 113th Congress: 2004 & 2008" (PDF). The Cook Political Report. 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-10. 
  2. ^ Cook Partisan Voting Index
  3. ^ Parson, Stanley B., William W. Beach and Michael J. Durbin. United States Congressional Distrcits and Data, 1843-1883 (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1986) p. 1
  4. ^ United States Congressional Elections. Michael J. Dubin. p. 295
  5. ^,_2014
  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1989). The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. 
  • Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. 
  • Congressional Biographical Directory of the United States 1774–present
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