Hank Sanders

Birmingham due to pick a black congressman

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Once a bastion of harsh racial politics, Alabama is going to choose its first black congressman since Reconstruction this year. The reapportionment on the basis of the 1990 census has produced a new 7th District running from here south to Selma that is more than 65 percent black.

The result is a Democratic primary with six black candidates and a Republican primary with three black candidates. The leading Democrats in the June 2 primary are state Sen. Earl Hilliard of Birmingham, state Sen. Hank Sanders of Selma and county Commissioner John Knight of Montgomery, two of whom are expected to qualify for the runoff. The eventual Democratic winner will be the...