By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R) from Montrose was sworn into office on Wednesday. The Southern Alabama attorney was sworn in to office representing Alabama’s First Congressional District.
Congressman Byrne said afterwards, “I am honored to be sworn in as the next Representative for South Alabama. Now it’s time to roll up our shirt sleeves and get to work.”
Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead said in a written statement, “Congrats to Representative Bradley Byrne on being sworn in today! We look forward to all the great work you will do for Alabama!”
Byrne was joined by his wife, Laura, family, and close friend, Speaker John Boehner (R) from Ohio for the swearing in ceremony.
Bradley Byrne is the former head of the Alabama Two year college system, a former Alabama State Senator, and a former member of the Alabama State School Board. In 2010 Byrne won the largest number of votes in a five candidate Alabama Republican Primary field for Governor; but was defeated by state Representative Doctor Robert Bentley (R) from Tuscaloosa in the Alabama Republican Party Primary Runoff. Dr. Bentley then easily defeated his Democratic opponent, Agriculture and Industries Commissioner Ron Sparks, in the general election and is the current Governor of Alabama.
After losing the most heavily contested Republican Primary in the history of Alabama, Byrne returned to private practice in Montrose, perhaps thinking his career in public life had ended. Then in June, Mobile Congressman Jo Bonner (R) announced that he was retiring from Congress to accept a position working for the University of Alabama System. Byrne was the first choice of many South Alabama Republicans and Byrne was the early favorite in a crowded field that at one point included eight Republicans, two Democrats, and an independent.
State Senator Byrne won the most votes in the Republican Primary and then faced perennial candidate, Dean Young, in the Republican runoff election. Young’s strongly worded denunciations of homosexuals, gay marriage, Speaker John Boehner, moderate Republicans, compromise, and Bradley Byrne drew national and international attention to the Republican Special Election Runoff election. Backed by endorsements from members of the Alabama Congressional Delegation, business interests, and former Congressman Jo Bonner Byrne defeated the ultra-conservative, Dean Young.
Byrne then unified the various Republican factions to crush Democrat Burton Leflore in the Special General Election in December 71:29%.
Byrne will have to face re-election in the 2014 election. Neither Young or Leflore have ruled out running against Byrne in 2014.