By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
The Alabama Republican Party has finally selected a Congressional nominee out of a field of nine who actually qualified. Bradley Byrne is the candidate that most political observers thought was the likely nominee when the congressional seat first became available.
What no one really understood then was that former state Senator Bradley Byrne (R) from Montrose would have had to fight one of the most contested and bitter Republican Primary Runoff battles in recent memory to get to this point. Sen. Byrne received 38,150 votes to Dean Young’s 34,534. Now Byrne has to convince a divided Republican electorate to come together to face Burton LeFlore (D) in the general election on December 17.
Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead congratulations Bradley Byrne Tuesday night when election results from the First Congressional District special runoff indicated that he will be the Republican nominee for the special general election. Chairman Armistead said,
“I would like to extend my sincerest congratulations to Bradley Byrne for his victory tonight to become the Republican nominee for Congressional District 1. The people of southwest Alabama should be confident that they have selected a strong conservative Republican who will work hard for them in Washington.“
Congresswoman Martha Roby said in a prepared statement,
“Congratulations to Bradley Byrne for winning the Republican nomination in the race to become Alabama’s next congressman from the 1st District. I’m proud that Republicans in South Alabama put forward such a determined leader who can help our party craft and articulate conservative solutions to this country’s problems. I look forward to Bradley crossing the finish line in a few weeks and becoming a valuable part of Alabama’s delegation in Congress.”
Daniel Dyas who challenged Byrne and Young in the Republican Primary, but did not hae the votes to make the runoff said on Facebook,
“Congratulations to you, Mr. Bradley Byrne and everyone in your campaign on winning the Republican nomination. I wish you much success as you represent South Alabama in the United States House of Representatives. We are in a crucial hour in the history of our great nation. The responsibility you bear is a great one. Godspeed.”
Chairman Armistead said,
“Residents in southwest Alabama have been called to do their civic duty many times this year through multiple special elections, I ask that they continue to fight to have their voice heard and go to the polls one more time this year to ensure that Bradley Byrne is the next Congressman from the First Congressional District.“
Alabama State Senator Bryan Taylor (R) from Prattville said on Twitter,
“Congratulations to Bradley Byrne, Rebecca, and all the family. Good luck ahead. Represent Alabama well!”
Chairman Armistead concluded,
“This has been a hard fought race and I commend Dean Young for his passion to serve the people of southwest Alabama. It is time for everyone to unite behind Bradley and take our fight against Obama to Washington. Republicans have held this southern congressional seat since 1964, but we cannot afford to take it for granted. I know that Bradley will represent his district and state well as he fights to get our country back on track from the train wreck we have experienced with the Obama Administration. In recent months, it has become more evident than ever that this nation is in need of strong leadership. Bradley’s years of public service and long-standing dedication to Alabama will serve him well in Washington. The full backing of the Alabama Republican Party will go with him to Washington and it is our sincerest hope that he and our Alabama delegation will continue to work to turn our country around.”
A bitterly disappointed Dean Young would not rule running for the seat again in the Republican Primary in June. This is the second time that Young has lost the Congressional District 1 race in the last 20 months, having been defeated in 2012 by incumbent Rep Jo Bonner (R) from Mobile.
The First Congressional District includes Washington, Baldwin, Mobile, Escambia, Monroe and Clarke counties.