State Rep. Robert Bentley was declared the winner of Alabama’s Republican primary for governor. He defeated Bradley Byrne Tuesday night in a runoff election. With 72 percent of precincts reporting, Bentley lead with 56percent to Byrne’s 44. This marks a reversal of sorts from the first round of the primary where Byrne had received slightly more votes than Bentley, beating him 28-25. Bentley wins the right to take on Democratic candidate and current Commissioner of Agriculture Ron Sparks in the general election. Bentley’s win is potentially good news for Republicans. A Rassmussen poll from June had Bentley the stronger Republican candidate against Sparks, with Bentley winning 56-37.
In other Alabama election news, it appears we will not be gathering our armies. In the 2nd Congressional district, Martha Roby easily won the Republican primary runoff against insurgent rightwing candidate Rick Barber. Roby will be taking on incumbent Democrat Bobby Bright in the general in what is a potentially competitive race, but a race in which Bright is expected to have the edge.
Updated – In the 7th Congressional district both the Republican and Democratic primary runoffs have been called. In the Democratic primary Terri Sewell defeated Shelia Smoot. On the Republican side, Don Chamberlain beat Chris Salter. The two candidates will now face each other in November. The 7th District leans strongly Democratic, making Sewell the overwhelming favorite to win.