Alabama Legislature

Bryan Brinyark Wins House District 16 Special Election

Bryan Brinyark

Lawyer Bryan Brinyark will head to Montgomery to represent House District 16, which includes Fayette County, parts of Tuscaloosa and western areas of Jefferson counties.

Brinyark, a Republican, got 2,370 votes, 83.36%, in unofficial returns after Tuesday’s special election. Fayette County Commissioner John Underwood, the Democratic nominee, had 469 votes, 16.5%. Turnout was about 8.6%, according to the Alabama Secretary of State’s website.

Brinyark said in a Tuesday night interview he felt people understand his campaign’s message.

“With the politics in Montgomery, the way that it is, that in order for this district to be fully represented, it was going to need to come from a Republican representative,” he said.

A message seeking comment was left with Underwood Tuesday night.

Brinyark said his constituents want him to work on widening about 45 miles of Highway 43 from Tuscaloosa up to at least Fayette. He said in a previous interview the district needs more access to commercial vehicles to spur economic development.

“One thing that everyone here is wanting me to work on is getting Highway 43 four-laned, so I’m going to continue that fight,” he said Tuesday night.

Despite low turnout and inclement weather that may have affected early morning voting, Brinyark said turnout exceeded their expectations for a special election.

“It was looking very sparse this morning. We were really afraid it was going to be super low turnout, but we’re glad that people did come out and decide to have a part in this,” he said.

Brinyark will succeed former Rep. Kyle South, R-Fayette, first elected in 2014, who stepped down June 30 to become the CEO of the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce.

According to the Secretary of State, Brinyark raised $163,380, spent $148,178 and had $2,586 in non-monetary contributions and $6,486 in other receipts through Jan. 5.

Underwood raised $5,511, spent $5,168 and had $4,443 in non-monetary contributions through Jan. 5.

The election was one of two special elections on Tuesday. Wes Kitchens, an insurance agent and state representative, won the Senate District 9 seat, encompassing parts of Blount, Madison and Marshall, defeating two other candidates.

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