Tea party candidate takes on GOP candidate for nomination in Alabama runoff primary

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November 4, 2013


By Jennifer Springer

Montgomery, Alabama: Two Republican candidates will face off tomorrow in the second round of the party's nomination. Former State Senator Bradley Byrne will take on tea party challenger Dean Young in the runoff election.[1] Polls will be open from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM Central Time.[2]

The two are running 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] Bonner announced his resignation in May to accept a position as vice chancellor of government and economic development at the University of Alabama.[3] He then announced 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.[4]

Byrne has led in both fundraising and in the polls.[5][6] Since the Republican primary on September 24, 2013, Byrne vastly outraised Young, who ran a low-budget, grassroots-focused campaign. As of October 16, 2013, Byrne had taken in 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 garnered the support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an endorsement that has meant $200,000 in campaign support, as well as endorsements from the National Rifle Association and former Reps. Jo Bonner and Jack Edwards.[9] [10]

Byrne previously was a member of the Democratic Party until 1997, when he joined the Republican Party.[11]

Byrne's rival is Dean Young, who has attracted the attention of the tea party nationally. A super PAC affiliated with Sharron Angle of Nevada has spent about $65,000 backing Young's campaign leading up to the runoff primary.[12][13]

The winner of the runoff will face Democratic candidate Burton LeFlore in the general election on December 17, 2013.[14]

The 1st District is considered a safe Republican seat and has been represented by a Republican since 1964.[15][16] Despite the shortened term, the winner of the special election will face re-election in 2014.[17]

See also

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External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Politico, "GOP identity crisis plays out in Alabama," accessed November 3, 2013
  2. Alabama Secretary of State, "2012 Voter Guide"
  3. blog.al.com, "BREAKING: Rep. Jo Bonner resigning from Congress," May 23, 2013
  4. Tuscaloosa News, "Jo Bonner to resign two weeks earlier than planned" accessed July 25, 2013
  5. Cyngal, "AL-01 Flash Poll – 09/19/13," accessed September 19, 2013
  6. WKRG, "Crowded Race Tuesday for Ala. Congressional Race," accessed September 22, 2013
  7. Politico, "Alabama Republicans in tight duel," accessed October 31, 2013
  8. AP Results, "Alabama Special Election Primary," accessed September 24, 2013
  9. Roll Call, "Chamber of Commerce Battles Tea Party in Alabama Special Election," accessed October 29, 2013
  10. USA Today, "GOP lawmakers oppose tea party candidate in Ala. race," accessed November 3, 2013
  11. UPI.com, "Ex-Democrat top vote-getter in Ala. Republican congressional primary," accessed September 28, 2013
  12. USA Today, "GOP lawmakers oppose tea party candidate in Ala. race," accessed November 3, 2013
  13. Ledger Enquirer, "GOP internal divide plays out in Alabama campaign," accessed November 3, 2013
  14. Governor of Alabama, "Governor Bentley Announces Court-Approved Timeline for Special Election in 1st Congressional District" accessed July 30, 2013
  15. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named missed
  16. Roll Call, "Top Republican to Enter Alabama Special Election #AL01" accessed June 10, 2013
  17. AL.com, "9 Republicans, 2 Democrats qualify for AL-01 congressional race" accessed August 6, 2013