Byrne takes on LeFlore in Alabama special election

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December 16, 2013

Alabama

By Jennifer Springer

Montgomery, Alabama: Former State Senator Bradley Byrne will face Democratic candidate Burton LeFlore in the rare holiday season special election tomorrow.[1][2][3] Polls are open from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM Central Time.[4]

Byrne defeated tea party challenger Dean Young in the runoff election on November 5, 2013, to secure the Republican nomination.[5][6]

Byrne was previously a member of the Democratic Party until 1997, when he joined the Republican Party.[7]

The special 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.[5][8] 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.[9]

Byrne has reportedly raised $1.1 million during the campaign, while LeFlore has only raised around $7,000.[1][10]

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, while LeFlore's campaign has received minimal support from national Democrats.[1]

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]

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