Both the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate and party nominations in U.S. House districts were decided in Tuesday’s runoff election in Alabama, which was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. Here is a rundown on the outcome:
Former football coach and first-time candidate Tommy Tuberville handily defeated former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions for the GOP Senate nomination, using strong support from President Donald Trump to slam the door on someone involved in state politics for decades.
While Sessions previously served in the Senate for 20 years from Alabama and was the first member of Congress to endorse Trump in 2016, the president backed Tuberville, who coached at Auburn University for 10 seasons ending in 2008.
Sessions, who angered Trump by stepping aside from the investigation into Russian meddling in the last election, portrayed himself as solidly in Trump’s corner. But Trump harshly criticized Sessions while tweeting his support for Tuberville.
Tuberville narrowly led Sessions in voting in the March primary, which included five other candidates.
U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 1
Jerry Carl has defeated Bill Hightower for the Republican nomination for the U.S. House seat now held by Rep. Bradley Byrne.
Carl is the president of the Mobile County Commission and has started multiple companies. Hightower is a business operator who served five years in the Alabama Senate.
In November, Carl will face James Averhart, who claimed the Democratic nomination over Kiani A. Gardner.
Averhart is a military veteran who served as president of a national Marines group. A native of Hawaii, Gardner led primary balloting but had to sideline her runoff campaign for a time after donating a kidney to a stranger in Birmingham.
Byrne finished third in the Senate race in March and didn’t seek re-election.
U.S. HOUSE DISTRICT 2
Barry Moore closed a big gap Tuesday to defeat Jeff Coleman in the runoff for the Republican nomination for the 2nd District House seat now held by Rep. Martha Roby.
Coleman led Moore by 18 percentage points in the March primary. But Moore came back to defeat Coleman in the runoff.
Each GOP candidate in the southeastern Alabama district billed himself as a conservative who supports President Donald Trump. Coleman is a native of Dothan who runs a family-owned moving and storage company. Moore grew up on a farm in Coffee County and served two terms in the Alabama House ending in 2018.
Moore will be a favorite in the Republican-leaning district in November against Democrat Phyllis Harvey-Hall.
STATE SCHOOL BOARD, DISTRICT 5
Tonya Smith Chestnut beat Fred Bell for the Democratic nomination for the 5th District seat on the Alabama Board of Education.
Chestnut is a retired educator with 36 years of experience working in a number of classroom and administrative roles in the district, which includes much of central and southwestern Alabama. Bell is a former member of the Montgomery City Council who served as a part-time municipal judge.
The seat is now held by Tommie Stewart, who was appointed following the death of longtime board member Ella Bell last year.
The winner will face Republican nominee Lesa Keith in the fall.
COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS, PLACE 2
Criminal Appeals Judge Beth Kellum defeated Will Smith in a runoff for the Republican nomination for the Place 2 seat on the court.
Kellum, who has served on the appellate court since 2009, led a three-person field in March, but she couldn’t get a majority. Smith is a former member of the Lauderdale County Commission.
The five-member court is composed entirely of Republicans. No Democrat is seeking the Place 2 position so winning the runoff will be tantamount to election.
Source: AP News