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Barry Moore wins GOP nomination in 1st Congressional District upset

Moore was buoyed by regions newly integrated into the 1st Congressional District during court-mandated redistricting.

Rep. Barry Moore, R-Alabama, is seen in the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, April 20, 2023. Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images
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In a striking turn of events that rattled the political landscape of Alabama’s 1st congressional district, U.S. Representative Barry Moore emerged victorious, clinching the Republican nomination in a contest that left pundits and voters alike on the edge of their seats. At 57, Moore’s campaign, saturated with national discourse and buoyed by a robust showing from his stalwart Wiregrass supporters, outpaced his opponent, Mobile’s own Republican U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl, by a margin of roughly 3,600 votes, according to the preliminary figures from the Alabama Secretary of State’s website.

The tides seemed to have turned in Moore’s favor, largely attributed to his resonance with the far-right House Freedom Caucus and a substantial influx of campaign funds from a political action committee championed by the Club for Growth, alongside a super PAC—often at odds with former President Donald Trump. Moore had previously vowed to reject the Club for Growth’s financial backing.

Moore’s triumph was markedly pronounced in the rural terrains, particularly those regions newly integrated into the 1st district following a court-mandated redistricting in early October. The numbers speak volumes: Moore secured 74 percent of the votes in Covington County, 77 percent in both Houston and Dale Counties, a staggering 82 percent in Geneva County, and an overwhelming 83 percent in Coffee County.

On the other side, Carl, aged 65 and a former dignitary of the Mobile County Commission, demonstrated a strong foothold in the locales he once represented within the 1st district—namely Mobile, Baldwin, and Escambia counties. Notably, Baldwin County, the district’s most populous region, saw Carl garnering 62 percent of the vote, which constituted 45 percent of his total tally.

However, the voter turnout narrative revealed a contrasting picture: while the coastal counties of Mobile and Baldwin exhibited a relatively tepid turnout of around 20 percent, the more rural districts, part of the Wiregrass region, showcased an engagement rate of 25-28 percent.

In a gesture of sportsmanship and unity, Carl extended his congratulations to Moore, affirming his support for the latter in the upcoming November 5th general election, where Moore is set to contend with Democratic challenger Tom Holmes. The results of this primary have undeniably set the stage for an intriguing political showdown in the heart of Alabama’s conservative stronghold.

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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