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Byrne defeats tea party challenger to win nomination in Alabama

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November 6, 2013


By Jennifer Springer

Montgomery, Alabama: Former State Senator Bradley Byrne defeated tea party challenger Dean Young in the runoff election yesterday to secure the nomination.[1][2]

The election is being held to replace former Rep. Jo Bonner (R), who resigned to take a position with the University of Alabama system. He had held the seat for six terms.[1][3] After first announcing his resignation in May 2013, he then released a statement on July 23, 2013, that he would resign August 2, 2013, instead of August 15, 2013, as originally planned. This allowed Gov. Robert Bentley to schedule the special election so that a replacement can be elected and seated before the new session of Congress begins in January 2014.[4]

Byrne led in both fundraising and in the polls consistently throughout the campaign.[5][6] Byrne also vastly outraised Young, who ran a low-budget, grassroots-focused campaign. As of October 16, 2013, Byrne raised nearly $690,000 to Young’s $260,000.[7] Byrne was not able, however, to secure the necessary majority of votes to win the nomination in the September 24, 2013 Republican primary, only winning around a third of the overall vote total.[8]

Byrne previously was a member of the Democratic Party until 1997, when he joined the Republican Party.[9]

As the winner of the runoff, Byrne will face Democratic candidate Burton LeFlore, as well as Independent candidates James Hall and Curtis Railey, in the general election on December 17, 2013.[10]

The 1st District is considered a safe Republican seat and has been represented by a Republican since 1964.[11][12] Despite the shortened term, the winner of the special election will face re-election in 2014.[13]

U.S. House, Alabama District 1 Special Runoff Republican Primary, 2013
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngBradley Byrne 52.5% 38,150
Dean Young 47.5% 34,534
Total Votes 72,684
Source: Unofficial results via Associated Press[14]

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