2018 Election

Alabama Voters Keep Republicans, Incumbents in State Offices

A poll worker puts up signs at Sixth Avenue Baptist Church as polling places prepared to open at 7 a.m.. (Source: Solomon Crenshaw Jr.)

Republicans prevailed in Tuesday’s statewide races for Alabama’s top elected offices, including lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, auditor and two public service commission positions.

Alabama voters turned out in higher-than-expected numbers to vote on a lengthy ballot that included statewide offices, state legislative seats, judicial candidates and mid-term federal races for Congressional seats. Voters supported Republicans and incumbents over Democratic challengers by margins that averaged about 60 percent for the Republicans to about 40 percent for the Democrats.

Unofficial statewide results are at AlabamaVotes.gov.

In the race for lieutenant governor, Republican Will Ainsworth, 37, of Guntersville, defeated Democratic challenger Will Boyd, a 47-year-old pastor from Florence. Ainsworth, a cattle farmer who owns a hunting and fishing business, was elected to the Alabama House for District 27 in 2014. Boyd has sought statewide office several times, including in 2017, when he sought the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Sen. Doug Jones.

Alabama’s lieutenant governor’s position has been vacant since April of 2017, when Kay Ivey was elevated from that office to governor after the resignation of then-Gov. Robert Bentley. The main job of the lieutenant governor is to preside over the state Senate.

In the race for attorney general, Republican incumbent Steve Marshall, 54, defeated Democratic challenger Joseph Siegelman, 30, an attorney and political newcomer whose father was Alabama’s last Democratic governor. Former Gov. Don Siegelman, also a former Alabama secretary of state, served time in federal prison on a bribery and conspiracy conviction.

Marshall, who served as Marshall County district attorney for 16 years, was appointed attorney general in February 2017 after Luther Strange was appointed to the U.S. Senate. Both appointments were made by former Gov. Robert Bentley.

In the race for Alabama secretary of state, Republican incumbent John Merrill, 54, of Montgomery, defeated Democratic challenger Heather Milam of Birmingham, a first-time candidate and adjunct professor at the University of Montevallo’s College of Business. Merrill was a member of the Alabama House for District 62 before being elected as secretary of state in 2014.

In the race for state auditor, Republican incumbent Jim Zeigler, 70, defeated Democratic challenger Miranda Joseph. Ziegler, an elder care planning attorney, served on the Alabama Public Service Commission before being elected auditor in 2014. Joseph, a certified internal auditor, previously ran for auditor, most recently in 2014.

In the race for Public Service Commission, Place 1, Republican incumbent Jeremy H. Oden, 58, of Vinemont, defeated Democratic challenger Cara McClure, 49, of Birmingham. Oden represented District 11 in the Alabama House before being elected to the PSC in 2012. This was McClure’s first political race.

In the race for Public Service Commission, Place 2, Republican incumbent Chip Beeker of Eutaw defeated Democratic challenger Kari Powell, 36, of Homewood. Beeker, a timber, cattle and catfish farmer, was first elected to the PSC in 2014 and had served on the Green County Commission for 20 years. This was the first political race for Powell, a freelance graphic designer.

In uncontested statewide races, Republican John McMillan, current Agriculture and Industry commissioner, was elected state treasurer, and Republican Rick Pate was elected Agriculture and Industry Commissioner. McMillan, of Stockton, is a former state representative and commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Pate is the mayor of Lowndesboro, a cattle farmer and owner of Pate Landscaping.