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Byrne easily wins congressional seat in Alabama special election

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December 18, 2013


By Jennifer Springer

Montgomery, Alabama: Former State Senator Bradley Byrne emerged as the winner in the special election race against Democratic candidate Burton LeFlore yesterday.[1][2][3][4]

Byrne defeated tea party challenger Dean Young in the runoff election on November 5, 2013, to secure the Republican nomination and was expected to easily win the seat in the general election.[5][6][7]

Byrne was previously a member of the Democratic Party until 1997, when he joined the Republican Party.[8]

The special election was 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.[6][9] 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 could be elected and seated before the new session of Congress begins in January 2014.[10]

Byrne reportedly raised $1.1 million during the campaign, while LeFlore only raised around $7,000.[2][11]

Byrne received support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business, the National Rifle Association and former Rep. Jo Bonner.[2]

In a statement, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden congratulated Byrne on his win.[12]

"Bradley’s strong conservative principles and dedication to his community will be a welcomed addition to the halls of Congress. He has a history of working hard for Alabamans for almost two decades, and I know he will continue that precedent as a United States Representative," he said.[13][12]

The 1st District was considered a safe Republican seat and has been represented by a Republican since 1964.[14][15]

Despite the shortened term, Byrne will face re-election in 2014.[16]

U.S. House, Alabama District 1 General Special Election, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngBradley Byrne 70.7% 36,042
     Democratic Burton LeFlore 29.3% 14,968
Total Votes 51,010
Source: Results via Associated Press

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External links


  1. Associated Press, "December 17, 2013, Results," accessed December 17, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 WTVY, "Rare Holiday Election to Decide Alabama Congressman," accessed December 15, 2013
  3. Governor of Alabama, "Governor Bentley Announces Court-Approved Timeline for Special Election in 1st Congressional District" accessed July 30, 2013
  4. Governor of Alabama, "Governor Bentley Announces Court-Approved Timeline for Special Election in 1st Congressional District" accessed July 30, 2013
  5. Washington Post, "Republican Bradley Byrne wins Alabama special election," accessed December 17, 2013
  6. 6.0 6.1 Politico, "GOP identity crisis plays out in Alabama," accessed December 3, 2013
  7. Washington Post, "Byrne wins Alabama runoff, in victory for GOP business wing," accessed December 5, 2013
  8., "Ex-Democrat top vote-getter in Ala. Republican congressional primary," accessed September 28, 2013
  9., "BREAKING: Rep. Jo Bonner resigning from Congress," May 23, 2013
  10. Tuscaloosa News, "Jo Bonner to resign two weeks earlier than planned" accessed July 25, 2013
  11. Tuscaloosa News, "Turnout is the key for Tuesday's election for 1st Congressional District," accessed December 15, 2013
  12. 12.0 12.1 Politico, "Bradley Byrne coasts in Alabama special election," accessed December 17, 2013
  13. The Hill, "Chamber-backed Byrne wins Ala. House special," accessed December 17, 2013
  14. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named missed
  15. Roll Call, "Top Republican to Enter Alabama Special Election #AL01" accessed June 10, 2013
  16., "9 Republicans, 2 Democrats qualify for AL-01 congressional race" accessed August 6, 2013