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Elections

Challenges filed in five legislative races

The challenges include House districts 28 and 29, where a redistricting error resulted in numerous voters receiving incorrect ballots.

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The Alabama Republican Party announced Friday that five legislative primary election results have been contested.

The contests include two state House districts in Etowah County, House districts 28 and 29, that were plagued by voters receiving ballots for the wrong districts.

Despite being made aware of the issue in April, the Etowah County Board of Registrars failed to account for the changes to district lines by the Legislature’s recent redistricting. It is still not clear how many voters were affected and what impact it may have had on the election.
Secretary of State John Merrill said it is up to ALGOP though to determine a resolution, as it is the duty of the parties to select nominees for the general election.

In District 28, Make Butler led incumbent Rep. Gil Isbell by 202 votes and Mark Gidley surpassed Jamie Grant by 82 votes in District 29.

Grant told APR last week that he expected the state Republican Party to find a way to ensure the candidates got a fair shot at the nomination.

ALGOP chairman John Wahl said before the votes were certified that the party is doing what it can with the situation.

“Our number one priority is to make sure the will of Republican primary voters is reflected in the outcome of these elections,” Wahl said.

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Incumbent Sen. Tom Whatley is also challenging his one-vote loss to Jay Hovey for the Senate District 27 race.

Whatley and Hovey were initially separated by four votes, before the counting of provisional ballots closed the gap to one vote. Whatley spent approximately $1.2 million in campaigning for the seat compared to just $95,000 spent by Hovey. The district includes Lee, Russell and Tallapoosa counties. 

Results were also challenged in House districts 1 and 2. In House District 1, incumbent Rep. Phillip Pettus defeated attorney Maurice McCaney by 360 votes. House District 2 is headed to a runoff between Limestone County Commissioner Jason Spencer Black and former Limestone Commissioner Ben Harrison. Kimberly Butler trailed by only 14 votes in that race, but McCaney and Butler told the Montgomery Advertiser that they did not file the contests.

Several contests were also filed in local Lauderdale County elections including the District 1 seat on the Lauderdale County Commission and several state and local GOP executive committee seats.

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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