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Wes Allen, Jim Zeigler headed to runoff in GOP race for secretary of state

State Rep. Wes Allen and State Auditor Jim Zeigler are headed to the Republican primary election runoff set for June 21.

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State Representative Wes Allen, R-Troy, and State Auditor Jim Zeigler are headed to a Republican primary election runoff, set for June 21, after neither man garnered more than 50 percent of the votes in Tuesday’s primary. 

Current Secretary of State John Merrill, who has served for two terms, could not run again because of term limits. 

Allen’s platform includes opposition to mail-in voting, no-excuse absentee ballots and early voting. Allen sponsored a bill in the House to ban curbside voting in Alabama, with Gov. Ivey signing the bill in May of 2021.

Zeigler, an opponent of same-day voter registration and expansion of the voting period, previously announced he’d run for governor before entering the secretary of state race. 

Other Republican candidates in the primary were Christian Horn, a Huntsville area businessman, is founder of the Tennessee Valley Republican club and a supporter of greater election integrity, and Ed Packard, who formerly worked in the secretary of state’s office, campaigned on post-election audits after elections and the prohibition of telecommunication devices in voting machines. 

Packard’s candidacy was marked with sexual harassment allegations, alleged in a personal file in the secretary of state’s office, however. 

The winner of the Republican runoff will face Democrat candidate Pamela Laffitte, who is running unopposed, in the Nov. 8 general election. Laffitte is a 24-year veteran of the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office and former Air Force reservist and campaigned on an expansion of voters’ rights, including curbside voting, early voting and automatic voter registration.

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Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

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