By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Monday, December 1 Alabama Secretary of State Jim Bennett (R) said that Monday’s recount in Senate District 6 showed that Republican Larry Stutts has defeated Democrat Roger Bedford by a 70-vote margin. The previously announced results showed a 66-vote margin for Stutts.
Secretary of State Bennett said, “While a recount was required by state law because of the very close results, it shows the results are substantially the same and our elections system worked well.”
Senator Larry Stutts (R) said in a statement, “I will not lose any time going to work for the people in northwest Alabama. I will be in Montgomery tomorrow to meet with the Governor and with officials at the Department of Commerce to address the main issue facing our area – jobs. I appreciate the hard work done by Senator Bedford on behalf of the people of our area for many years.”
Dr. Larry Stutts defeated longtime incumbent Sen. Roger Bedford for State Senate District 6 despite being outspent. Stutts will join a new larger Republican Supermajority representing the people of northwest Alabama’s Sixth Senate District.
Election officials in Colbert, Franklin, Marion, Lauderdale and Lawrence Counties met on Monday to re-run the ballots through the voting machines and confirm the vote totals.
According to information provided by the Alabama Republican Party the initial tabulation of votes cast on November 4 showed Dr. Stutts defeated Sen. Bedford 17,605 to 17,545. After provisional ballots were counted on November 12, Dr. Stutts had 17,641 votes and Sen. Bedford had 17,574, giving Dr. Stutts a 67 vote margin. The State Canvassing Board, which includes the Governor, Secretary of State and Attorney General, met on November 25th and officially certified Dr. Stutts as the winner in Senate District 6. After being certified by the State Canvassing Board as the winner, Dr. Stutts was sworn in as State Senator at the Colbert County Courthouse.
Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead issued a written statement on Monday regarding the final outcome of Senate District 6: “The votes in Senate District 6 have confirmed Dr. Larry Stutts has won this election. This has been one of this year’s most watched Alabama elections, as Dr. Stutts challenged longtime Democratic Senator and State Senate Minority Leader Roger Bedford. For the first time in over 140 years, northwest Alabama will be represented by a Republican.”
Chairman Armistead (who served with Bedford when both were in the Alabama State Senate) said, “I commend Sen. Bedford for his long service to the people of northwest Alabama. He has no doubt benefited the many communities in Senate District 6 through his ability to secure grants and other means of financial support to improve the lives of the people in this area.”
Chairman Armistead continued, “The political landscape has changed in Alabama over the last several years. Republicans now hold every statewide office and a supermajority in the Alabama House and Senate. Senator Larry Stutts will work closely with his colleagues in the House and Senate, Governor Bentley and all state agencies to ensure the people of northwest Alabama and Senate District 6 receive the assistance they need to become an economic powerhouse. From the first time I met Dr. Stutts, I knew he had a deep passion for serving the people of Senate District 6. I saw in him the conservative, Republican philosophy that would benefit all of the people in his district. I have worked with many people in the public arena over the years, and I have found no one who I believe to be more dedicated to doing the right thing for the right reasons than Senator Stutts. I congratulate Senator Stutts, his wife Jackie and the entire Stutts family, and the many, many friends who remained dedicated to en suring this day became a reality.”
Sen. Stutts said, “I am thankful for the opportunity to serve the people of Senate District 6. I have been confident in the integrity of the process and the elected officials who oversaw the election results. Fair and honest elections are a major part of the foundation of our country, and to see that verified locally is a testimony to the people and the officials of this district.”
According to information provided by the Secretary of State’s office, Bedford lost one vote during Monday’s recount in Lauderdale County while Dr. Stutts gained one vote each in Franklin and Lauderdale Counties. There was no change in Colbert and Lawrence Counties and a loss of one write-in vote in Marion County.
Sec. Bennett said the final tally will be certified in the next few days.
Sen. Bedford has told local media outlets that he is at peace with the outcome of the race; but would not rule out future campaigns. Bedford was first elected to the Alabama Senate in 1982. Sen. Bedford ran for the U.S. Senate when Senator Howell Heflin (D) retired; but was defeated by then Alabama Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R) in the 1996 General Election.