By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Tuesday, Republican voters in Southern Alabama go to the polls to decide whether they want former State Senator and two year college system Chancellor Bradley Byrne (R) from Montrose, or Orange Beach developer and Roy Moore aide Dean Young (R) to represent them in the First Congressional District.
The Republican runoff has drawn national and even some international attention to the Alabama Gulf Coast congressional race.
The Dean Young campaign collected several key endorsements of late. Eagle Forum endorsed Young. Phyllis Schlafly said, “Dean is exactly the kind of leader we need in Washington. He will be a bold, pro-family, Constitution-supporting representative who can provide sorely needed leadership in Washington. Dean will stand for Biblical principles and less government, less spending and more individual freedom. He will also protect the sovereignty of the state of Alabama and the nation.”
“Now, more than ever, we need Members of Congress who don’t just vote well, but will roll up their sleeves and fight to protect the ideals that have made this nation great. We know Dean Young will represent and fight for our values. We look forward to working with him in Congress.”
Conservative Talk Show host Mark Levin has also endorsed Young.
Byrne has been endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber’s National Political Director Rob Engstrom said, “We look at both candidates, we look at their track record, we look at their plans and we try to make a judgment, we say ‘Do we have somebody who fits right on the issues, do we have somebody who is a true conservative who will not flinch when times get tough? Our job is to go find candidates and identify who can lead and who has experience, and we found that candidate in Bradley Byrne.”
Byrne also has the support of the powerful National Rifleman’s Association (NRA)and former Congressman Jo Bonner (R) from Mobile who said in a prepared statement, “Whether it was rebuilding from Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina, responding to the BP-Deepwater Horizon tragedy or helping to grow new jobs at Austal and bring new companies like ThyssenKrupp and Airbus to South Alabama, my staff and I worked our hearts out to always represent South Alabama in a dignified, meaningful way. I am proud of what we accomplished. And make no mistake, there is only one person who is ready to carry on in this tradition and join the fight to save our country and that is Bradley Byrne.”
Retired Congressman Jack Edwards (R) from Mobile said, “Bradley Byrne is the only person in the race for Congress who can do the job and make us proud of his effort.”
Byrne said, “When you have the NRA and the U.S. Chamber both endorse the same person, that’s a pretty good signal to everybody who the real conservative in the race is.”
Young said on Facebook, “If you want change, vote for Dean Young. If you like what’s going on in Washington DC then vote for Bradley because the politicians in DC are loading up the money on the Bradley train.”
A Poll by Cygnal on Wednesday showed Young leading the race by 43.2% to 40.2%, but with over 16% undecided anything is possible on election day. Who ultimately wins depends largely on which campaign does the best job of motivating their voters to turnout at the polls in the Tuesday Republican Primary runoff special election.
Byrne said, “We know that we’re picking up the momentum both from people that voted on Sept. 24 and from some people that didn’t who are going to come out and vote in this race. This is going to be a race where turnout is so very important, so we’re going everywhere we possibly can to talk to individual voters, whether it’s door-to-door or football games, or big group things that happen. There’s nowhere in this district we’re not going to go over the next week to talk to voters.”
Dean Young said on Facebook, “Bradley Byrne is a mainstream candidate — business as usual, go along to get along. The eyes of the nation are on South Alabama. Please spread the word to all conservatives. A vote for Dean Young will send a message and a messenger on Nov. 5.”
The winner will face Democrat Burton LeFlore in the Dec. 17 general election.