Alabama Primary Runoff Election Wrap-Up

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Former Attorney General Troy King (left) lost his bid for the Republican nomination for the office  to Attorney General Steve Marshall.
Former Attorney General Troy King (left) lost his bid for the Republican nomination for the office to Attorney General Steve Marshall.

Source: BirminghamWatch

Associated Press

U.S. Rep. Martha Roby won Alabama’s Republican runoff on Tuesday, fighting through lingering fallout from her years-old criticism of Donald Trump, in a midterm contest that hinged on loyalty to the GOP president.

The four-term incumbent will now represent the GOP on the November ballot having defeated Bobby Bright, a former Democrat who tried to cast himself as the more authentic Trump ally in the low-turnout Republican contest.

The Trump White House was on Roby’s side.

While election officials don’t expect a large voter turnout, there are six statewide GOP races on the ballot plus one state school board seat. Here is a glance at those races:

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR

State Rep. Will Ainsworth defeated Alabama Public Service Commission President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor in a race that got raucous down the stretch.

The 37-year-old Ainsworth ran commercials playing on Cavanaugh’s unusual first name and calling her a career politician. Cavanaugh led all candidates for lieutenant governor in fundraising with nearly $1.1 million in total contributions through April.

The 52-year-old Cavanaugh brought up Ainsworth’s theft arrest when he was a college student and was accused of stealing fiberglass tigers in downtown Auburn.

Ainsworth called it a college prank and closed his campaign by touring with a fiberglass tiger. He will face Democratic minister Will Boyd in November.

The lieutenant governor’s office has been vacant since then-incumbent Kay Ivey became governor in April 2017.

___

ATTORNEY GENERAL

Appointed incumbent Steve Marshall has won the Republican nomination for attorney general and now faces his first statewide general election challenge.

Marshall defeated former Attorney General Troy King in the Republican runoff Tuesday.

The former county prosecutor will face a general election challenge from Birmingham lawyer Joseph Siegelman, the son of ex-Gov. Don Siegelman.

The 53-year-old Marshall has been attorney general since February 2017, when then-Gov. Robert Bentley appointed him after naming Luther Strange to the U.S. Senate.

Marshall had a narrow lead over the 49-year-old King in the June primary and widened his margin in the runoff.

The race took on an aggressive tone in the closing days after both Marshall and King temporarily paused their campaigns following the suicide of Marshall’s wife last month.

___

AGRICULTURE AND INDUSTRIES

Farmer and small-town mayor Rick Pate has defeated longtime state Sen. Gerald Dial for the Republican nomination for commissioner of the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.

The 63-year-old Pate led the 80-year-old Dial and three other candidates in the primary in June, but he didn’t get enough votes to win the nomination outright.

He widened his lead in Tuesday’s balloting.

Pate is a cattle breeder west of Montgomery, and he also serves as mayor of Lowndesboro. Dial says he farms timber.

No Democrats are running, so the eventual Republican nominee is virtually assured of winning in November.

___

APPEALS COURTS

Voters in Alabama’s runoff election decided the Republican nominees for three slots on statewide appeals courts.

Mobile County Circuit Judge Sarah Hicks Stewart defeated gubernatorial appointee Brad Mendheim for a seat on the nine-member Alabama Supreme Court. Mendheim is a former circuit judge from southeast Alabama who led primary balloting.

Alabama Tax Court Judge Christy Edwards of Montgomery defeated Baldwin County Circuit Judge Michelle Manley Thomason for a judgeship on the five-member Alabama Court of Civil Appeals.

And west Alabama District Attorney Chris McCool beat Assistant Alabama Attorney General Rich Anderson for a position on the five-member Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals.

No Democrat is running for any of the three judgeships in November, so winning the GOP runoff is tantamount to election.

___

STATE SCHOOL BOARD

Auburn City School Board President Tracie West has won the GOP nomination in the only runoff for a position on the Alabama State Board of Education.

West defeated Dothan school board member Melanie Hill for the District 2 position, which represents southeastern Alabama on the policy-making board.

Hill led West narrowly in the four-person primary contest. Both supported repealing Common Core educational standards, and both touted their experience in education and leadership roles.

West will now face Democrat Adam Jortner, who teaches history at Auburn University.

AP News Guide: Roby, Marshall win Alabama runoffs

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Martha Roby won Alabama’s Republican runoff on Tuesday, fighting through lingering fallout from her years-old criticism of Donald Trump, in a midterm contest that hinged on loyalty to the GOP president.

The four-term incumbent will now represent the GOP on the November ballot having defeated Bobby Bright, a former Democrat who tried to cast himself as the more authentic Trump ally in the low-turnout Republican contest.

The Trump White House was on Roby’s side.

While election officials don’t expect a large voter turnout, there are six statewide GOP races on the ballot plus one state school board seat. Here is a glance at those races:

 

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR

State Rep. Will Ainsworth defeated Alabama Public Service Commission President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor in a race that got raucous down the stretch.

The 37-year-old Ainsworth ran commercials playing on Cavanaugh’s unusual first name and calling her a career politician. Cavanaugh led all candidates for lieutenant governor in fundraising with nearly $1.1 million in total contributions through April.

The 52-year-old Cavanaugh brought up Ainsworth’s theft arrest when he was a college student and was accused of stealing fiberglass tigers in downtown Auburn.

Ainsworth called it a college prank and closed his campaign by touring with a fiberglass tiger. He will face Democratic minister Will Boyd in November.

The lieutenant governor’s office has been vacant since then-incumbent Kay Ivey became governor in April 2017.

___

ATTORNEY GENERAL

Appointed incumbent Steve Marshall has won the Republican nomination for attorney general and now faces his first statewide general election challenge.

Marshall defeated former Attorney General Troy King in the Republican runoff Tuesday.

The former county prosecutor will face a general election challenge from Birmingham lawyer Joseph Siegelman, the son of ex-Gov. Don Siegelman.

The 53-year-old Marshall has been attorney general since February 2017, when then-Gov. Robert Bentley appointed him after naming Luther Strange to the U.S. Senate.

Marshall had a narrow lead over the 49-year-old King in the June primary and widened his margin in the runoff.

The race took on an aggressive tone in the closing days after both Marshall and King temporarily paused their campaigns following the suicide of Marshall’s wife last month.

___

AGRICULTURE AND INDUSTRIES

Farmer and small-town mayor Rick Pate has defeated longtime state Sen. Gerald Dial for the Republican nomination for commissioner of the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.

The 63-year-old Pate led the 80-year-old Dial and three other candidates in the primary in June, but he didn’t get enough votes to win the nomination outright.

He widened his lead in Tuesday’s balloting.

Pate is a cattle breeder west of Montgomery, and he also serves as mayor of Lowndesboro. Dial says he farms timber.

No Democrats are running, so the eventual Republican nominee is virtually assured of winning in November.

___

APPEALS COURTS

Voters in Alabama’s runoff election decided the Republican nominees for three slots on statewide appeals courts.

Mobile County Circuit Judge Sarah Hicks Stewart defeated gubernatorial appointee Brad Mendheim for a seat on the nine-member Alabama Supreme Court. Mendheim is a former circuit judge from southeast Alabama who led primary balloting.

Alabama Tax Court Judge Christy Edwards of Montgomery defeated Baldwin County Circuit Judge Michelle Manley Thomason for a judgeship on the five-member Alabama Court of Civil Appeals.

And west Alabama District Attorney Chris McCool beat Assistant Alabama Attorney General Rich Anderson for a position on the five-member Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals.

No Democrat is running for any of the three judgeships in November, so winning the GOP runoff is tantamount to election.

___

STATE SCHOOL BOARD

Auburn City School Board President Tracie West has won the GOP nomination in the only runoff for a position on the Alabama State Board of Education.

West defeated Dothan school board member Melanie Hill for the District 2 position, which represents southeastern Alabama on the policy-making board.

Hill led West narrowly in the four-person primary contest. Both supported repealing Common Core educational standards, and both touted their experience in education and leadership roles.

West will now face Democrat Adam Jortner, who teaches history at Auburn University.

_____

 

Birmingham City Councilor Lashunda Scales defeated four-term incumbent George Bowman for the District 1 seat on the Jefferson County Commission. And Birmingham City Councilor Sheila Tyson won the race for Jefferson County Commission District 2 against incumbent Sandra Little Brown. There was no Republican runoff.

In the Democratic runoff for Jefferson County sheriff, Mark Pettway defeated Wilson Hale. Pettway will face incumbent Sheriff Mike Hale in the November general election.

More local race results from WBHM partners BirminghamWatch here.

Gigi Douban

Gigi Douban

News Director



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