The Alabama Republican Party announced Thursday the date and outline for a hearing to determine the outcomes of three election contests in two Alabama House districts and one Alabama Senate District following the Republican Primary Election in May.
The hearings, scheduled for Saturday, will take up the three contests on Etowah County state House Districts 28 and 29 and Lee County’s state Senate District 27, after challenges on the results of those districts were filed earlier in June.
Another contest filed on the results of Alabama House District 2 will be heard on a later date, according to a statement from the Alabama Republican Party.
Parties involved in the preceding, along with legal counsel, will present their case to Alabama Republican Party Candidate Committee, with the committee able to request additional materials concerning the election challenges before coming to a final decision, according to the Alabama Republican Party.
The Alabama House District 28 and 29 challenges stem from a ballot error that caused an unknown number of voters to receive the wrong ballot for their respective voting districts. The Alabama Secretary of State’s office and the Etowah County Probate office both said that the error has “negativity impacted” candidates and voters in both state House districts.
During the May primary, Mark Gidley, a pastor at Faith Worship Center in Glencoe, won the District 29 race with approximately 82 votes, claiming victory outright without a run-off over fellow Republican candidate Jamie Grant, according to certified election results from the May primary. In District 28, Mack Butler, a Rainbow City businessman, won by 202 votes, defeating incumbent state Rep. Gil Isbell, R-Gadsden.
Once the error came to light after the May primary, Grant demanded a second primary election take place during the primary run-offs later in June. Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said that there would not be new primary elections since it is the primaries and parties are only required to submit nominees for the later general election– a point which Grant disagreed in an interview with APR in early June. Rep. Isbell also said in an interview with APR prior to the primary run-offs that he wanted a new election in District 28.
In Lee County’s state Senate District 27, incumbent state Sen. Tom Whatley, R-Auburn, lost his bid for re-election to Auburn city councilman Jay Hovey in the primary by a single vote after initially trailing by four votes prior to the counting of the provisional ballots.