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Alabama congressional special election draws crowded primary field

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September 23, 2013


By Jennifer Springer

Montgomery, Alabama: Nine Republicans and two Democrats are seeking their party's nomination in the special election primary elections tomorrow to replace Jo Bonner (R) in the 1st District. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.[1]

Bonner resigned in May to accept a position as vice chancellor of government and economic development at the University of Alabama.[2] He then announced on July 23, 2013, that he would resign August 2, 2013, instead of August 15, 2013 as originally planned, to allow 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.[3]

The following candidates have all qualified and filed to run for the seat:[4][5]

Republican candidates

Democratic candidates

Democratic candidates Lula Albert-Kaigler and Burton LeFlore will appear on the ballot tomorrow despite a missed deadline in August by the Alabama Democratic Party.[19]

In a statement on August 7, 2013, Secretary of State Jim Bennett said the Democratic Party was an hour late in submitting the names of the two candidates.[19] However, Bennett said they would “err on the side of caution” and allow the qualified candidates on the ballot.[19]

On the Republican ticket, former two-year college chancellor Bradley Byrne has lead in both fundraising and in a poll of Republican candidates heading into the primary.[20][1]

Bradley Byrne raised $241,363 between July 1, 2013, and September 4, 2013, and had $183,629 cash on hand going into the primary.[21] That is almost $80,000 more than Wells Griffith, who raised the second-highest amount during the same period.[21] Griffith raised $162,250 and had $87,730 in cash on hand going into the primary.[21] Quin Hillyer raised the third-highest with $150,927 and $49,729 in cash on hand going into the primary.[21] State representative Chad Fincher is fourth in fundraising, raising $56,145 and with $64,120 cash on hand going into the primary.[21] Dean Young raised $34,260 — including a $10,000 personal loan to his campaign – and had $23,335 in cash on hand going into the primary.[21]

National political figures are also playing a role in the Republican race.[1] Rick Santorum and the Citizens United Political Victory Fund endorsed columnist Quin Hillyer, conservative outside group GOPAC released a television ad on August 28s in support of state representative Chad Fincher and former vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan endorsed former Republican National Committee staffer Wells Griffith.[22][23][24]

If none of the candidates receive more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary elections tomorrow, a special primary runoff election will be held on November 5.[25] If no runoff is required, the general election will take place on November 5. If a primary runoff is required, the general election will get pushed to December 17.[26]

The 1st District is considered a safe Republican seat and has been represented by a Republican since 1964.[19][27] Despite the shortened term, the winner of the special election to fill Bonner's seat will face re-election in 2014.[28]

See also

Ballotpedia News

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 WKRG, "Crowded Race Tuesday for Ala. Congressional Race," accessed September 22, 2013
  2., "BREAKING: Rep. Jo Bonner resigning from Congress," May 23, 2013
  3. Tuscaloosa News, "Jo Bonner to resign two weeks earlier than planned" accessed July 25, 2013
  4., "The list: Who's in, who's out of AL-01 congressional race," June 6, 2013
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Miami Herald, "9 Republicans, 2 Democrats to run in US House race" accessed August 6, 2013 (dead link)
  6., "State Rep. Chad Fincher launches bid for AL-01 congressional seat" accessed June 19, 2013
  7. National Journal, "Five Names To Know In Alabama 01" accessed June 10,2 013
  8. Daily Caller, "Conservative columnist jumping into Alabama congressional race" accessed May 23, 2013
  9. Conservative HQ "Conservative Quin Hillyer Announces For Congress" accessed May 24, 2013
  10., "Rep. Jo Bonner resignation stuns constituents, sparks candidates" accessed May 24, 2013
  11. The American Spectator, "Laying Down My Pen" accessed May 24, 2013
  12., "Republican Dean Young to run for AL-01 congressional seat," May 29, 2013
  13. Roll Call, "Jo Bonner to Resign From Congress Soon (Updated) #AL01" accessed June 10, 2013
  14., "Republican Wells Griffith to run for AL-01 congressional seat" accessed July 10, 2013
  15., "Jessica James launches bid for AL-01 congressional seat," May 30, 2013
  16. Atmore News, "James announces candidacy for 1st Congressional District" accessed July 5, 2013
  17., "Daniel Dyas launches bid for AL-01 congressional seat" accessed July 5, 2013
  18. Atmore Advance, "LeFlore enters U.S. congressional race," accessed August 26, 2013
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Montgomery Advertiser, "Democrats who missed filing deadline will still be on ballot," accessed August 8, 2013
  20. Cyngal, "AL-01 Flash Poll – 09/19/13," accessed September 19, 2013
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 21.5 Roll Call, "Byrne Leads Special Election Fundraising Race | #AL01," accessed September 13, 2013
  22. Politico, "Rick Santorum offers help in Alabama race," accessed September 13, 2013
  23. Roll Call, "GOPAC Goes Up With Ad in Alabama House Special | #AL01," accessed August 29, 2013
  24., "Rep. Paul Ryan backs Wells Griffith in AL-01 congressional race" accessed August 7, 2013
  25. Federal Voting Assistance Program, "ALABAMA TO HOLD SPECIAL PRIMARY ELECTION FOR CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT ONE," accessed September 22, 2013
  26. Governor of Alabama, "Governor Bentley Announces Court-Approved Timeline for Special Election in 1st Congressional District" accessed July 30, 2013
  27. Roll Call, "Top Republican to Enter Alabama Special Election #AL01" accessed June 10, 2013
  28., "9 Republicans, 2 Democrats qualify for AL-01 congressional race" accessed August 6, 2013