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State legislators have mixed results in primary runoff races

A view of the Alabama Statehouse on South Union Street in Montgomery, Alabama. (STOCK PHOTO)

During Tuesday’s party runoff elections current and former state legislators had mixed results in their races. Two current members of the Alabama House of Representatives were on the ballot pursuing other offices as well as a former representative and a former state senator.

Barry Moore, R-Enterprise, who served two terms in the Alabama House of Representatives from 2010 to 2018, shocked many political pundits when he emerged from a crowded GOP primary field to make the Republican primary runoff. In the GOP primary runoff, he steamrolled wealthy Dothan businessman Jeff Coleman. Moore received 60 percent of the vote to Jeff Coleman’s 40 percent even though Coleman had a distinct money advantage due to his personal net worth.

“I want to give all of the glory to God,” Moore said. “This has been a prayerful campaign. Psalm 37:5 says, ‘Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.’ Many said we couldn’t do this, but together with God’s grace, we’ve done it.”

“I look forward to being on the ballot with President Donald J. Trump and all our other Republican nominees,” Moore added. “We know that the Democrats will do everything in their power to defeat this President and keep Doug Jones in the Senate, and we can’t allow either of those things to happen. I want to ask all of Mr. Coleman’s supporters to stand with me as we deliver the strongest Republican vote in District 2 in history.”

Moore gave up his seat in the Alabama House of Representatives in order to run for Congress in 2018 as a challenger to incumbent Congresswoman Martha Roby, R-Montgomery. Moore failed to even make the Republican primary runoff in that election, but Tuesday night, Moore said that campaign set the groundwork for this victory.

State Senator Bill Hightower, R-Mobile, also ran for Congress in the Republican primary runoff, though in the 1st Congressional District against Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl.

Carl received 52 percent of the vote while Hightower finished second with 48 percent.

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“The first word that came to my mind this morning was thankful,” Hightower said in his concession speech. “I am thankful for my family’s support during this difficult year on the campaign trail. I am thankful for the tireless work of my campaign team as we navigated the uncertain public health circumstances. And I am thankful for the many supporters I knew before this campaign and the even more who I met along the way. While today’s results did not turn out as we all had hoped, it was your voices that kept me going during these long days. I congratulate my opponent, Commissioner Carl, on a hard won contest and I look forward to working to ensure President Trump is re-elected this November.”

Hightower gave up his seat in the Senate in 2018 to run for governor, but he lost to Gov. Kay Ivey in the Republican primary.

“We are grateful for the service of Senator Bill Hightower,” said Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan. “His strong conservative voting record has helped our state. We honor his service and recognize his dedication to Alabama. He is to be highly commended for running for this position.”

On Tuesday, State Rep. Roderick “Rod” Scott, D-Fairfield, was defeated in the Democratic primary runoff for Jefferson County treasurer. Eyrika Parker won the office with 57.45 percent. Scott received 42.55 percent.

Scott will continue to hold his seat in the Legislature representing Jefferson County. This effectively elected Parker County treasurer as she has no Republican opponent in the fall.

State Rep. Becky Nordgren, R-Gadsden, edged out Jeff Overstreet for the Republican nomination for Etowah County revenue commissioner Tuesday. Nordgren received 52.6 percent, while Jeff Overstreet received 47.4 percent.

“Thank you to everyone that got out and voted today!” Nordgren said in a statement, “A special thanks to my terrific Husband and friends who through all the craziness of 2020 kept the Faith and as a team pulled this race into the winners circle. I love all of you and couldn’t have done it without you! I look forward to serving Etowah County as Revenue Commissioner!”

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Nordgren has no Democratic general election opponent so has effectively won the office even with the November general election still to come. Nordgren will continue in her seat in the legislature until the term of the current revenue commissioner expires. Her then vacated House seat will be filled in a special election.

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

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