Tuesday, voters in House District 21 went to the polls and elected Republican Rex Reynolds in the special election.
Former police chief Rex Reynolds narrowly defeated Terry Jones in the special election. As of press time, Reynolds had 2,382 votes to 2,075 for Jones. There was 12 percent turnout.
Rex Reynolds thanked all of his supporters, said he felt relieved, and is now ready to “hit the ground running and get to work.”
“My plans are to be [in Montgomery] early enough to be sworn in on the Floor and get to work by lunchtime tomorrow,” Reyonolds said. “There are several bills pending… If I can join in there and be of some value the final day [of Session], that’s what I will do.”
Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan released a statement regarding the House District 21 Special General Election.
“Congratulations to GOP candidate Rex Reynolds on his victory in today’s election for Alabama House District 21,” Lathan said. “As the results indicate, Mr. Reynolds, a former police chief, is extremely well respected in his district. We are appreciative of the citizens who went and supported him. This election shows that Alabama voters agreed that conservative policy clearly benefits our citizens. We are excited to showcase our strong state and county candidates in November who will support our policies that have made such a positive impact in Alabama.”
“Please note that this special election was held due to a vacancy in the Alabama House of Representatives following the death of Republican State Representative Jim Patterson,” Lathan added. “Therefore, Mr. Reynolds will face Democrat opposition again during the general election this November.”
Economic Developer Nicole Jones and friend of the Patterson family stated, “Most of you know that last year, Heaven gained an angel with Jim Patterson, a dear friend who epitomized Colossians 3:23. Jim’s positive attitude, servant leadership, and tenacity made him a good legislator who left big shoes to fill in House District 21. Rex Reynolds was the only Republican who ran for this seat. I have known Rex Reynolds for many years; he is a lifelong public servant who will represent us well.”
Susan Patterson, wife of the late Jim Patterson, stated, “Rex called me first to ask for my blessing to run for the seat. That was so very nice of him!” Rex Reynolds said he “would not have it any other way.” Susan Patterson added, “Rex Reynolds is the man for the job.”
Reynolds took the oath of office, administered by Madison County District Judge Linda Coats just over an hour after polls closed. .
“I’m relieved,” Reynolds told Alabama Media Group’s Paul Gattis. “It was certainly a very close race. The community has spoken. Now I’ll go to Montgomery and represent both those who voted for me as well as those who voted against me.”
“When I saw the lack of the numbers we had in the turnout today, I knew it was going to be close,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds said that he and his wife, Mary, will travel to Montgomery today for the certification of the election results by Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill.
Once that is accomplished he will join the state House of Representatives for the remainder of the session, which could end as early as tonight.
Reynolds and Jones will face each other again in November.
(Original reporting by the Alabama Media Group’s Paul Gattis contributed to this report.)