BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Two incumbents faced opposition Tuesday in Alabama's congressional primaries, but the closest contest was expected in the 1st District, where Republican Rep. Jack Edwards is retiring after 10 terms.
Edwards endorsed former state Sen. H.L. 'Sonny' Callahan of Mobile to succeed him.
Callahan, a former Democrat who switched to the GOP after losing to Bill Baxley in the 1982 lieutenant governor's race, faced Billy Stoudenmire, chairman of the Republican Executive Committee, in the primary.
The Democratic primary in the 1st District saw Dan Alexander, former Mobile County school board president, and Frank McWright, a Mobile lawyer, fighting for the nomination.
Ron Williams, a black Mobile lawyer who represented the man who challenged Alabama's school prayer law, qualified as an independent and will face the Democratic and GOP nominees in the November general election for Edwards' seat.
Democrat Rep. Tom Bevill, who was first elected in 1966, was favored to best Mike Sharp of Gadsden in the 4th District Democratic primary. There will be no Republican opposition for that district's seat in the Nov. 6 general election.
First-term Rep. Ben Erdreich also was expected to defeat his Democratic primary opponent, Steve Arnold, in the 6th District of Birmingham. Unlike Bevill, Erdreich will have GOP opposition in November.
In the 2nd district, Republican Rep. Bill Dickinson was unopposed in the GOP primary, but three Democrats were seeking to challenge him in November.
Jack Folsom, son of former Gov. Jim Folsom; journalist Larry Lee and Tuskegee Institute history professor Willie Fulker were seeking the Democratic nomination to face Dickinson.
Lee lost the Democratic nomination to Billy Joe Camp, Gov. George Wallace's press secretary, in 1982. Dickinson narrowly defeated Camp, who decided against running this year.
Dickinson, 58, who will be the senior member of Alabama's delegation if he is re-elected, has been criticized by Democrats for taking frequent overseas trips. He said his foreign travel is necessary as the ranking minority member on the House Armed Services Committee.
Frank Tipler of Andalusia also is on the 2nd District ballot in the fall as a Libertarian.
Erdreich defeated incumbent Republican Albert Lee Smith for the 6th District seat in 1982. Smith was seeking the GOP nomination for Democratic Sen. Howell Heflin's seat in the primary.
The winner of the Erdreich-Arnold race will face Republican Jabo Waggoner of Birmingham, who served as a Democrat in the state Legislature for 17 years before switching parties this year.
Steve Smith of Birmingham, a Libertarian, and Mark Curtis of Birmingham, who is running as a Socialist Worker candidate, also qualified for the general election in the 6th District.
Democratic Rep. Ronnie Flippo escaped opposition of any kind in the 5th District.
In the 3rd District, incumbent Bill Nichols, a Democrat, will be opposed by Libertarian Mark Thornton in November.
Democratic Rep. Richard Shelby faces Libertarian Charles Ewing of Birmingham in the general election.