Tag Archives: Robert Bentley

Alabama Senate Race Begins

By Jim Ellis

Rep. Bradley Byrne, a Republican, formally announced his candidacy for the Senate.

Feb. 25, 2019 — One of the critical 2020 US Senate contests is beginning to take shape. Over the past few days, Alabama Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Mobile) formally announced his statewide candidacy with the goal of opposing Democratic Sen. Doug Jones, who won the controversial 2017 special election that attracted national attention.

The Jones victory, defeating beleaguered Republican Roy Moore, a former state Supreme Court Chief Justice, represented the first time a Democrat won an Alabama statewide federal election since incumbent Sen. Howell Heflin secured his final term in 1990.

Prior to that, Richard Shelby, then a Democratic congressman, unseated Republican Sen. Jeremiah Denton in 1986. Shelby then switched to the Republican Party immediately after the 1994 election. Prior to the Denton victory on the same night that Ronald Reagan was first elected president, no Republican had won an Alabama seat for more than 100 years.

The Yellowhammer State Senate race could well be the lynchpin to determining which party will control the chamber after the 2020 election. With the electoral map favoring the Democrats because Republicans must defend 22 of the 34 in-cycle seats, including the Arizona special Senate election, Alabama becomes a virtual “must-win” for the GOP.

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Will History Repeat in Alabama?

Bradley Byrne

Bradley Byrne

According to a brand new flash poll, history may repeat itself in Alabama’s 1st Congressional District special run-off election scheduled for next Tuesday.

In 2010, Alabama state Sen. Bradley Byrne scored 27.9 percent of the statewide Republican gubernatorial vote to finish in first place and advance to the two-person run-off election. He was paired with Tuscaloosa dermatologist and state Rep. Robert Bentley, who qualified for the secondary vote with the barest of margins over the man placing third, Tim James, the son of former Gov. Fob James. Backed by the various Tea Party organizations and his strongly conservative base voter, Bentley soared past Sen. Byrne to capture a 56-44 percent Republican nomination run-off victory, and then was elected governor in the general election.

Now, as a candidate in the special congressional election for resigned Rep. Jo Bonner’s (R-AL-1) former position, Byrne again placed first in the original primary, garnering 35 percent of the total Republican vote. He faces businessman and conservative activist Dean Young, who scored 23 percent on Sept. 24, but is now running much closer according to late race polling.

Byrne is leaving no stone unturned in this run-off campaign, employing aggressive fundraising and advertising techniques, capturing more endorsements, benefiting from outside independent expenditure advocacy, and attracting establishment Republican support. But, according to a new Cygnal consulting firm flash poll conducted on Oct. 30, Byrne has dropped behind his opponent, Young, by a 43-40 percent  Continue reading >

AL-1: September Election

Alabama Congressional Districts

Alabama Congressional Districts

Another special election is fast coming upon us. Alabama Rep. Jo Bonner’s (R) resignation from the House means a special primary on Sept. 24. The underdog Democrats filed two candidates, so the party will select a nominee in the first vote. The two contenders are former state Representative candidate Burton LeFlore and retiree Lula Albert-Kaigler.

The Republican side is a much different affair. With nine candidates on the ballot, a Nov. 5 run-off is a virtual certainty. The special general election is scheduled for Dec. 16. If neither party requires a secondary election, the special general will move to Nov. 5.

Former state Sen. Bradley Byrne actually placed first in the 2010 Republican gubernatorial primary, outpacing the eventual winner, Robert Bentley, and Tim James, the son of former Gov. Fob James (Democrat to Republican).

Byrne scored 28 percent of the Republican primary vote against Bentley and James, who both scored in the 25 percent range. Bentley edged James by just a tenth of a percentage point. Judge Roy Moore, who came to notoriety for his insistence of displaying the Ten Commandments in the courthouse, was fourth.

In the run-off, Byrne fell to Bentley 44-56 percent, indicating the strength of the Republican Party’s conservative wing. Byrne, viewed as the establishment candidate, came through a crowded primary but quickly became the underdog in a head-to-head race. Bentley went on to easily  Continue reading >