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Wilcox Edges Out Hightower in District 104 Runoff

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Republican voters in House District 104, in Mobile County, went to the polls on Tuesday to select their candidate to replace Representative Jim Barton (R) from Mobile.  Margie Wilcox won a close race versus children’s boutique owner, Susan Hightower.

Wilcox said in a message to supporters on Facebook, “We won! Jim Barton brought out his house pin to put on my lapel and I’m still floating! Thank you thank you thank you to everyone from the bottom of my heart thank you and daddy I love you!”

Voters narrowly chose Margie Wilcox over Susan Hightower.  Ms. Wilcox received 51% (1723 votes)to Mrs. Hightower’s 49% (1657 votes) . Margie Wilcox will now have to face Democrat Stephen Carr in a special general election on January 28, 2014.

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead wrote a statement following the results of the House District 104 Republican Party primary run off election.  Chariman Armistead said, “My congratulations go out to Margie Wilcox for her victory in House District 104 in Mobile. The voters in District 104 will have a strong conservative carrying the banner for the Republican Party when she takes her campaign into the general election scheduled for January.  Both Ms. Wilcox and Ms. Hightower fought hard to win this nomination and while Ms. Wilcox was the victor, Ms. Hightower demonstrated her dedication to public service. Voters in Mobile County can be proud they had such great candidates seeking to represent them in Montgomery.”

Buoyed by powerful endorsements, Hightower had the most votes in the Republican Special Election Primary, but Wilcox was able to make up that gap during the runoff.

Mrs. Hightower benefited from greater name recognition, being state Senator Bill Hightower’s wife.  Bill Hightower had recently run for the State Senate, beating out Rep. Barton for the Senate vacancy.  Wilcox turned that strength into a liability by asking,

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“Do we want one family representing our entire district? I don’t think so,” Wilcox said on Facebook.

The Wilcox campaign mailed out a letter to voters over the weekend emphasizing this issue.

Margie Wilcox is a prominent business owner who owns cab companies and airport transport companies.  The Theodore businesswoman is staunchly pro-Life and supports the traditional family.

Wilcox said on her website, “By ensuring that our parks are clean and safe and that our police have the resources and the laws to fight crime we can keep families together and our children safe. We need a stronger focus on families!”

Wilcox is a charter member of St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church.  Wilcox had reportedly received some anti-Catholic messages in her mailbox during the campaign.

If elected, Wilcox promises to reduce the size of government, publish most government documents on the web,  and strengthen Alabama’s ethic laws.  Wilcox said on her website:

“Just a few years ago our republican leadership did a great job in passing new laws to improve our trust and confidence in elected leadership. Unfortunately, the loop holes have been found. Double dippers are still double dipping and the old revolving door is spinning even faster. I am a cheerleader for the conservative leadership in our state and I want to join them with a push to close those holes and keep the promise to be the most honest and transparent leadership in the history of Alabama!”

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Wilcox is a graduate of Leadership Mobile, a former member of the Mobile County Republican Executive Committee and has been very active in the Business Council of Alabama and the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Wilcox will now have to unify the Republican voters to face her Democratic opponent Stephen P Carr II.

Stephen Carr said in a Monday statement, “This (the January 28 special general election) will be the first election of 2014 for an open Alabama House seat and it marks a very important opportunity for voters to send a message to Montgomery that the supermajority politics of the last three years has not worked on the behalf of our citizens. In fact, the supermajority in Montgomery has not created adequate job growth, has not ensured that our public education system has a continual chance to succeed, and has not looked out for the interests of our seniors, veterans, low and middle income workers, and has not set us on a path that makes Alabama a relevant player on the National Political scene. No matter which GOP candidate is chosen for this race, the writing on the wall is clear: nothing will change without the breaking up of the supermajority in Montgomery”

Carr said that on on January 28th, “Voters have a chance to send a Veteran, Father, small business owner, man of faith, and lifelong public servant to Montgomery to represent the people, not big business or special interests! Voters have an opportunity to stand up to politics as usual and to send a representative who will bring Montgomery back to them for a change! Voters’ voices in this district have remained unheard for far too long and it is time to finally take a stand and to send a man who will fight for the interests of all people, not just a select few who have the money and influence to force other voices out of the conversation.”

The House District 104 seat became vacant following the resignation of Representative Jim Barton (R) this past August when he left to pursue a job opportunity as a professional lobbyist.  The winner will serve the remainder of Barton’s term and will still have to face re-election in 2014 along with every other seat in the Alabama Legislature.  House District 104 is located in the southern section of Mobile County and stretches from I-65 to the Mississippi line.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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