Byrne and Young advance to runoff election in Alabama special election

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September 24, 2013


By Jennifer Springer

Montgomery, Alabama: The crowded Republican special election primary ended with two candidates advancing to a runoff election necessary to secure the party's nomination. Nine Republicans and two Democrats faced off for their party's nomination in the special election primary elections to replace Jo Bonner (R) in the 1st District.

Bonner resigned in May to accept a position as vice chancellor of government and economic development at the University of Alabama.[1] 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.[2]

Democratic candidate Burton LeFlore easily defeated challenger Lula Albert-Kaigler to advance to the general election.[3]

Former state senator Bradley Byrne had a lead in both fundraising and in a poll of Republican candidates heading into the primary.[4][5] He was not able, however, to secure the necessary majority of votes to win the nomination.[3]

None of the candidates received more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary elections, prompting a special primary runoff election that will be held on November 5, 2013.[6] Byrne and Dean Young will go head to head in the runoff election, with the winner advancing to the general election scheduled for December 17.[7]

Turnout in the election was relatively low, with only about 15 to 18 percent of voters turning up to the polls.[8]

The 1st District is considered a safe Republican seat and has been represented by a Republican since 1964.[9][10] Despite the shortened term, the winner of the special election will face re-election in 2014.[11]

U.S. House, Alabama District 1 Republican Primary, 2013
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngBradley Byrne 34.6% 18,090
Green check mark transparent.pngDean Young 23% 12,011
Chad Fincher 15.6% 8,177
Qyin Hillyer 13.9% 7,260
Wells Griffith 11% 5,758
Daniel Dyas 0.7% 391
Jessica James 0.7% 391
Sharon Powe 0.4% 184
David Thornton 0.1% 72
Total Votes 52,334
Source: Unofficial results via Associated Press[12]
U.S. House, Alabama District 1 Special Democratic Primary, 2013
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngBurton LeFlore 70.2% 3,129
Lula Albert-Kaigler 29.8% 1,328
Total Votes 4,457
Source: Unofficial results via Associated Press[13]

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