By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
The special Republican Runoff election for Alabama Senate District 35 is today. District 35 includes much of Mobile County. State Representative Jim Barton faces business consultant Bill Hightower.
The winner of the March 12 runoff will be the State Senator as the Alabama Democratic Party was unable to recruit a candidate for the seat previously held by Ben Brooks (R). Sen. Brooks vacated his seat after being elected a Mobile Circuit Court Judge
Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead said, “The fact that no individual chose to qualify as a Democrat for Senate District 35 is just more proof that more and more Alabamians realize that the Democrat Party of today is the party of Barrack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Alabama Democrat Chairman Judge Mark Kennedy. The Alabama Democrat Party is not the party our grandparents may have belonged to. Looking at recent election results, it is clear that conservative Alabama voters have rejected the Democrat Party’s liberal way.”
The polls will be open at 7:00 am and will close at 7:00 pm. The winner is likely to be sworn as as soon as the vote is certified since the legislative session is underway and the district 35 seat is vacant. The winner will add another seat to the Republican supermajority in the Senate.
In the primary, Hightower took 46.5% of the Republican primary vote and Rep. Jim Barton (R) came in second with just 30% of the vote. Former Marine Corps pilot, Nick Matranga came in third with 23% of the vote. Matranga has since endorsed Barton.
Only 7.5% of the electorate voted in the Special Republican Primary and this was the only race on the ballot. The candidate which is best able to motivate and turn out their voters will likely be the winner.
Rep. Barton is the owner of Old South Construction and Bay Resources. He is married and he and his wife, Kim, have two children, Ward and Georgianne. Barton is a member of St. Pious X Catholic Church in Mobile. Barton has won several Legislator of the Year Awards, most recently by the Alabama District Attorneys Association. Barton is the Chairman of the Alabama House’s Ways and Means Committee for the General Fund. Barton is a University of South Alabama Graduate..
Bill Hightower is a corporate strategic consultant with clients all over the world. Hightower is married to Susan Binegar Hightower, from Grand Bay. He and Susan have three children; Will (26), Haven (22), and Ben (18). Hightower graduated from the University of South Alabama and has a 1990 M.B.A. from Vanderbilt University. Hightower’s wife Susan owns Wee-Exchange and operates a clothing store called, Little Monkey Toes. She also is a realtor with Roberts Brothers Realty.
The winner will serve out the remainder of the current term and will face reelection in 2014.