Alabama's constitution, adopted in 1901, provides for an elected governor and a bicameral legislature that is made up of a 35-member senate and a 105-member house of representatives. The state elects two senators and seven representatives to the U.S. Congress and has nine electoral votes.
Alabama politics was dominated by the Democratic party from Reconstruction until the 1980s, when Harold Guy Hunt became (1986) the first Republican to be elected governor in over a century. Since then, the two parties have tended to alternate control of the governorship. In 1998, Democrat Don Siegelman was elected governor, but he narrowly lost the office to Republican Bob Riley in 2002. Riley was reelected in 2006, and in 2010 Robert Bentley, a Republican, was elected to succeed Riley.
Among Alabama's educational institutions are the Univ. of Alabama, at Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and Huntsville; Auburn Univ., at Auburn; Birmingham-Southern College and Howard College, at Birmingham; Huntingdon College, at Montgomery; the Univ. of Montevallo, at Montevallo; and Tuskegee Univ., at Tuskegee.