Primary runoff preview: Alabama state executive official elections, 2014

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July 14, 2014

Alabama

By Maresa Strano

July 14, 2014 Election Review
StateExecLogo.png

Jump to the section for:
*Alabama Secretary of State
*Alabama Auditor
*Alabama Public Service Commissioner (Place 2)

MONTGOMERY, Alabama: Alabama voters faced seven contested state executive primary races this past June, three of which prompted runoffs: for secretary of state, state auditor and one seat on the public service commission.[1][2] Both secretary of state and state auditor seats are open in the 2014 electoral cycle. Meanwhile, incumbent Alabama Public Service Commissioner for Place 2 Terry Dunn not only failed to win a majority of the June 3 primary vote, he finished in second place behind challenger Chip Beeker. Beeker took 39% to Dunn's 33%. All three runoffs come from the Republican Party.

Alabama election law requires a candidate to earn a majority of the primary vote in order to automatically move on with their party's nomination. If no candidate reaches that threshold, the two candidates with the highest number of votes compete in a runoff, to take place on "Tuesday of the ninth week after the primary." This year, that falls on July 15, 2014.[3]

The secretary of state's office reported an expected voter turnout of five percent, or 2.9 million active voters. It could be lower, however, given the projection was based on turnouts from runoffs held during the last three presidential election years, when voter interest tends to exceed that seen in the midterms. Regardless of turnout, the runoffs will cost about $3 million in taxpayer money. At five percent, that would equal approximately one dollar per ballot cast.[4][5]

Alabama is one of 14 states that uses an open primary system, in which registered voters do not have to be members of a party to vote in that party's primary.[6][7][8]

Below, Ballotpedia has put together a preview of the primary runoffs.

In Alabama, all polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central Time.[9]



Alabama Secretary of State
See also: Alabama secretary of state election, 2014

This seat is open in 2014 due to the terms of current incumbent Jim Bennett's appointment by Gov. Bentley in July 2013. Bentley was to serve out the remainder of former Secretary Beth Chapman's second term after Chapman resigned to take a job in the private sector. Having held the office in an official elected capacity in the past, Bennett returned to his old post knowing it was only temporary: He will leave it behind again on January 19, 2015, when Chapman's term was set to expire.[10]

Reese McKinney and John Merrill will compete in the runoff to decide which of the two Republican secretary of state hopefuls will join uncontested Democratic nominee Lula Albert-Kaigler.

The secretary of state is Alabama's chief election official and certifies vote totals, ballots and fundraising records. He or she is also responsible for business registration and keeping the state government's official documents and public records.

June 3 Republican Primary
Alabama Secretary of State Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Merrill 39.6% 143,960
Green check mark transparent.pngReese McKinney 38.4% 139,763
James Perdue 22% 80,050
Total Votes 363,773
Election Results Via:Alabama Secretary of State.


Runoff Candidates

Republican Party Reese McKinney
Republican Party John Merrill

General Election Candidates

Democratic Party Lula Albert-Kaigler


Alabama Auditor
See also: Alabama down ballot state executive elections, 2014

Republican incumbent Samantha Shaw is ineligible for re-election due to term limits.

Dale Peterson and Jim Zeigler are vying to be the Republican nominee for state auditor. The runoff winner will face Miranda Joseph in November for a shot at replacing Shaw. The Alabama Auditor leads the office's performance of post audits between the state's other financial agencies, the State Treasury and the Comptroller’s Office, in addition to serving as Chairperson on the Board of Adjustments.

June 3 Republican Primary Results
Alabama Auditor Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJim Zeigler 47.1% 164,002
Green check mark transparent.pngDale Peterson 24.3% 84,828
Adam Thompson 18.6% 64,688
Hobbie Sealy 10% 34,910
Total Votes 348,428
Election Results Via:Alabama Secretary of State.
Runoff Candidates

Republican Party Dale Peterson
Republican Party Jim Zeigler

General Election Candidates

Alabama Public Service Commissioner (Place 2)
See also: Alabama down ballot state executive elections, 2014

Incumbent Alabama Public Service Commissioner for Place 2 Terry Dunn not only failed to win a majority of the June 3 primary vote, he finished in second place behind challenger Chip Beeker. With no viable candidates in the race from the Democratic Party or otherwise, whoever wins the GOP runoff will sail through the general election.

Commissioners supervise and regulate the state's electricity, gas, water, railroad, and telecommunications companies. Additionally, they supervise transportation companies operating toll bridges, ferries, or roads. The Commission's mission is "To ensure a regulatory balance between regulated companies and consumers in order to provide consumers with safe, adequate and reliable services at rates that are equitable and economical."[11]

June 3 Republican Primary
Alabama Public Service Commission, Position 2, Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngChip Beeker 39% 133,606
Green check mark transparent.pngTerry Dunn Incumbent 32.5% 111,404
Jonathan Barbee 15.9% 54,341
Phillip Brown 12.6% 43,097
Total Votes 342,448
Election Results Via:Alabama Secretary of State.
Runoff Candidates

Republican Party Chip Beeker
Republican Party Terry Dunn - Incumbent


See also

Ballotpedia News

References