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Incumbent Senator Ousted by Rep. Jim McClendon

By Lee Hedgepeth
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY – Alabama Senator Jerry Fielding was made a lame duck this week, losing by a landslide to Representative Jim McClendon of Sylacauga.

Fielding, who was elected in 2010 as a Democrat and switched to the GOP in 2012, was in headlines this legislative session when he suggested he might move to pass a resolution praising the cast of Duck Dynasty for the controversial statements made in a magazine interview about both homosexuals and African-Americans, prompting nationwide coverage.

It was apparently not enough to turn out the vote though, with the incumbent Senator losing the primary by 16 percent, 9328-5527.

Fielding’s opponent and now Senate GOP nominee Rep. Jim McClendon has served in the Alabama House of Representatives since 2002. An optometrist, McClendon has long been vocal on public wellness issues, serving as the Chairman of the House Health Committee. He also chaired the Ethics Committee during the special legislative session on ethics in 2010.

Before his tenure as a senator, Jerry Fielding had served as a judge and worked as an attorney.

Asked about his winning the primary, Rep. McClendon had much to say.

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“A lot of people were calling and asking what they could do to help. It was a very interesting race in that both my opponent and I had track records in the legislature,” the Representative explained.

“And I thing the voters based their decision on those records and not promises of tomorrow. I think a very conservative district chose the more conservative candidate.”

Rep. McClendon will face off against Democratic challenger Ron Crumpton this November in the general election.

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