Category: 2018 Elections

Incumbents Prevail in Legislative Primaries; Others Face Opposition in General Election

Incumbent Alabama lawmakers prevailed in primary voting in Jefferson and Shelby counties Tuesday, with five Democratic lawmakers essentially winning re-election because they have no opposition in November.

Local Republican incumbents won their party’s primaries, but all face Democratic challengers in the Nov. 6 general election.

The area’s only open seat, House District 54, is the only local legislative contest headed for a runoff and the only one with an independent challenger in the general election. Read more.

Two Jefferson County Commissioners Going to a Runoff in Fight to Keep Their Posts

Two of three incumbent candidates for the Jefferson County Commission were pushed into runoffs in primary elections Tuesday.

District 2 Commissioner Sandra Little Brown and District 1 Commissioner George Bowman must fend off challengers in July.

Brown found herself in a virtual dead heat against Birmingham City Councilor Sheila Tyson. And Bowman made it into a ruoff but trailed Birmingham City Councilor Lashunda Scales in his race. Read more.

It’s Not Always About the Money (Except When It Is)

Spending the most money does not always get you the most votes, but the biggest spenders were the big winners in Tuesday’s gubernatorial primary elections.

Kay Ivey, the sitting governor and former lieutenant governor who has reported spending more than $4 million in her bid to win a full term in the top job, easily won the Republican nomination in Tuesday’s primary. Ivey handily defeated three challengers, each of whom spent less than she did.

Walt Maddox, Tuscaloosa’s mayor since 2005, bested five other contenders in Tuesday’s primary to win the Democratic nomination without a runoff. He has reported spending more than $827,000, the highest amount in the Democratic gubernatorial primary field.

In all, about $10 million has been spent on the governor’s race so far.

Ivey’s support came from far and wide. She led the GOP field in 61 counties, while Maddox took a deep dive in the state’s most populous counties on the Democratic side. Read more.

BirminghamWatch covered results of this week’s primary elections from the top of the ballot to the bottom. Read the stories:

Ivey and Maddox Win Nominations, Will Go Head-to-Head in November
Two Jefferson County Commissioners Going to a Runoff in Fight to Keep Their Posts
Merrill Snags SOS Nomination, AG Race Going to a Runoff After Day of Light Voting
With Superintendent’s Help, JefCoEd President Re-Elected in Hotly Contested Race
Incumbents Prevail in Legislative Primaries; Others Face Opposition in General Election
Jefferson County Court Races
Shelby County Vote Results

Merrill Snags SOS Nomination, AG Race Going to a Runoff After Day of Light Voting

Big wins, a few surprises and a lower-than-expected turnout marked Tuesday’s elections for statewide offices in Alabama.

State election officials had predicted a 30 percent turnout for the primaries, but only about 24 percent of the electorate across the state went to the ballot box, according to unofficial vote tallies with 66 of Alabama’s 67 counties reporting.

Incumbent Secretary of State John Merrill was among the big winners in state races Tuesday, securing the GOP nomination by a landslide. Merrill will face a political newcomer, Democratic nominee Heather Milam, in November. Supreme Court Associate Justice Tom Parker won the Republican nomination to the chief justice seat, and the attorney general’s race is going to a runoff between two former holders of that office. Read more.

With Superintendent’s Help, JefCoEd President Re-Elected in Hotly Contested Race

In the past decade or so, campaigns for seats on the Jefferson County Board of Education could best be described as sedate. In fact, contested races have been rare.

But on Tuesday, in a campaign that was anything but quiet and waged largely on social media, incumbent board President Oscar Mann prevailed in a race for Place 3 against challenger Jake Ware. Read more.

Ivey and Maddox Win Nominations, Will Go Head-to-Head in November

Playing it safe with a low-key campaign, Gov. Kay Ivey rolled over Republican Party opponents to cruise to victory in the Republican Party primary gubernatorial election today. She will face Democratic Party primary winner Walt Maddox in the November general election. Maddox, mayor of Tuscaloosa, also won without a runoff.

At about 10 p.m., with 50 of 67 precincts reporting, Ivey had 55.84 of the vote, with her strongest challenger, Tommy Battle, at 26.60 percent. Maddox had 51.62 percent of the vote to Sue Bell Cobb’s 29.24 percent.

In her victory speech, Ivey touted economic achievements made in the state in the past year and said, “But all these success, y’all, I say are just a good start ‘cause I’m not done yet.”
Ivey, former lieutenant governor, was elevated to governor following the 2017 resignation of Gov. Robert Bentley, whose leadership was plagued with scandals. Her closest competition came from Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. Evangelist Scott Dawson of Birmingham and Mobile State Sen. Bill Hightower were left far behind.

Ivey, 73, said she was a steadying influence on state government following the tumultuous years of Bentley leadership. She took advantage of her incumbency to avoid most open debates, forged a significant lead in campaign contributions, and emphasized gun rights, education and job growth. She also banned lobbyists from appointment to the executive branch of government.

Maddox, in his first statewide political campaign, showed he could build an effective organization and overcome the name recognition of his main opponent, former Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb of Montgomery. Cobb’s campaign was dogged by her hire of a registered sex offender as a field representative, by her resignation as chief justice, and by her endorsement of former US Sen. Jeff Sessions for US attorney general.

Maddox, 45, took full advantage of his leadership in rebuilding Tuscaloosa following the devasting tornadoes of 2011. He prioritized workforce education and training, called for a statewide lottery to help finance public education, and said he would expand Alabama’s Medicaid program. Prior to his first election as mayor in 2005, Maddox was director of personnel for Tuscaloosa City Schools.

Attorney General’s Race

(with 65 of 67 precincts reporting)

DEMOCRATS
Chris Christie…………………. 100,625 (46.04%)
Joseph Siegelman…………… 117,919 (53.96%)

REPUBLICANS
Chess Bedsole ……………95,441 (20.21%)
Troy King……………………..137,711 (29.16 %)
Steve Marshall……………….133,203 (28.21%)
Alice Martin………………….105,870 (22.42%)

King and Marshall will meet in a runoff for the nomination.