Charles Barkley May Run for Alabama Governor in 2010

NBA legend Charles Barkley has told an approving crowd in his home state that he is seriously considering running for governor of Alabama in 2010.

Charles Barkley, declaring himself a Democrat, said Tuesday he is seriously considering a run for governor of Alabama, maybe as early as 2010. The Leeds native and former Auburn University and NBA basketball star has teased for years about pursuing the state’s highest office, but he told about 900 public school board members from across the Southeast that he’s moving toward a decision on the matter. “Alabama, that’s my home. I’m thinking about running for governor; they need the help,” Barkley said as the crowd laughed. “If it wasn’t for Arkansas and Mississippi, we’d be dead last in everything. I think we can do better.”


While Barkley said he has been mulling a run for governor for years, he believes he will soon reach a place in his life where he will stop thinking about it and start doing it.


He discounted speculation that he considers himself a Republican. “What I’ve said is I’m rich like a Republican. But I’m not one,” Barkley said. In the hour-long talk to a meeting of the Southern Regional Conference of the National School Boards Association, hosted by the Alabama Association of School Boards, Barkley reeled off one-liners that had the crowd alternately laughing and groaning.

I’ll believe it when I see it; he’s been saying the same thing for years. It’s news, though, that he now considers himself a Democrat. He’s been known to consort with the likes of Rush Limbaugh and otherwise has certainly given the impression that he’s a Republican.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. @tieguy Barkley’s been teasing at a run for AL governor for some time.

  2. @tieguy Barkley’s been teasing at a run for AL governor for some time.

  3. ken says:

    James, perhaps it is precisely because he has hung out with the likes of Limbaugh that he is a democrat.

  4. DaveD says:

    Barkley: “What I said is I’m rich like a Republican….”. That’s a good one. I guess he’s not poor like John Kerry, Ted Kennedy,….

  5. Matt says:

    Barkley said earlier this year, “I was a Republican – until they lost their minds.”