It looks as if the proverbial gloves are coming off in the AL-1 Republican special run-off election (Nov. 5), because presumed front-runner Bradley Byrne, a former Alabama state senator and gubernatorial candidate, has unleashed a rather surprising television attack ad against opponent Dean Young.
Citing that Young started a political action committee called the Christian Family Association PAC, the ad accuses Young of “fooling Christians for profit.” According to the Byrne ad, 95 percent of the money contributed to the organization – over $168,000 – went to Young’s company. The ad claims that Young “can’t be trusted” and says he is “the last guy we need in Washington.” The ad, which was on YouTube, has been pulled down.
The Byrne campaign’s frontal attack strategy is curious. By all measures, he leads this race and his headed for victory on Nov. 5. Such a position normally dictates a more passive campaign action plan.
On the money front, Byrne had out-raised Young by a ratio of almost 10:1 through the Sept. 4 pre-primary campaign disclosure filing ($317,245 to $36,713).
Since the Sept. 24 primary, where Byrne placed first with 35 percent in a 12-person Republican field as compared to Young’s 23 percent, the third and fourth-place finishers have each endorsed the former state legislator. The National Rifle Association soon followed suit. After that, resigned incumbent Jo Bonner (R), who left office in August to accept a position with the University of Alabama, also publicly put his political capital behind Byrne.
Additionally, an early October Wenzel Strategies poll (Oct. 6-7; 412 registered AL-1 voters), gave Byrne a 44-37 percent lead over Young.
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