Free skin care for all Alabamians! State Rep. Robert Bentley of Tuscaloosa secured the Republican nomination for Alabama governor Tuesday night. He defeated Bradley Byrne, whom Gov. Bob Riley picked to serve as chancellor of the Alabama Community College System after a slew of corruption scandals. Riley issued a long-expected but late endorsement of Byrne on Monday, but despite that (or perhaps because of it) Bentley defeated Byrne soundly, earning 56 percent of the vote to Byrne’s 44 percent. The Associated Press called the race about 8:45 p.m., and Bentley quickly thanked his supporters via Twitter. Unofficial results show 260,843 folks voted for Bentley, compared to 204,388 for Byrne. The campaign was marred by complaints from Byrne that he was being unfairly attacked by the state teacher’s union, the Alabama Education Association. Bentley, a dermatologist, will face Democrat Ron Sparks in November.
Smoot out of a job in November: Birmingham bond attorney Terri Sewell coasted to an easy victory Tuesday night in her race to become the Democratic nominee for Alabama’s 7th Congressional District Representative. Sewell defeated Shelia Smoot, who currently serves as a Jefferson County commissioner, and who gave up her ability to run for reelection as commissioner to run for the 7th District seat. Smoot ran with the campaign slogan “Smoot On Your Side,” which harkened back to her days as a consumer advocacy reporter at WBRC Fox 6, but evidently voters were not on her side. Smoot received 26,459 votes, or 45 percent of the vote, compared to Sewell’s 32,333 votes, or 55 percent. Sewell is expected to easily defeat GOP nominee Don Chamberlain in November, as the district (which encompasses much of Alabama’s Black Belt, along with parts of Jefferson and Tuscaloosa counties) is largely Democratic.
Fresh blood on the JeffCo Commission: Smoot ain’t the only commissioner not coming back after November. Bobby Humphryes, the only JeffCo commissioner running for reelection, lost the Republican nomination for the District Three seat to Jimmie Stephens, who garned 55.93 percent of the vote. Stephens will face Democrat Vivian Ford in November—Ford beat Ron Yarbrough with 55.4 percent. On June 1, Gen. George Bowman beat Jonathan Austin to win the right to serve out the remainder of William Bell’s unexpired term as District One commissioner, and on Tuesday Bowman beat Austin again to win the next term. Commissioner Jim Carns and Commission President Bettye Fine Collins both opted not to run for reelection. Carns’ District Five seat will be filled by David Carrington, who won unopposed in June. Republican Joe Knight won his run-off against Ronnie Dixon with 59.44 percent of the vote—in November, he will face Democrat Roy Wood for Collins’ District Four seat.
In other races around the state: Democrat James Anderson will face off with Republican Luther Strange in the general election for Alabama attorney general. Anderson defeated Giles Perkins Tuesday night with 60 percent of the vote to secure his party’s nomination. Strange defeated current attorney general Troy King in the GOP primary in June. Viral video sensation Rick Barber (R-Alternate Universe) failed to GATHER HIS ARMIES against Martha Roby, and lost the Republican nomination for Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District. Roby wrangled up 60 percent of the vote, and will run against freshmen Rep. Bobby Bright in the November. Between Barber and James’ loss, it would seem the Tea Partiers don’t have much sway in Alabama. Speaking of viral videos, failed GOP Agriculture Commissioner candidate Dale Peterson’s armed threats suggesting that Republicans vote for John McMillan for Ag. Commish stirred the electorate—McMillan beat Dorman Grace with 52 percent of the vote. He’ll face Democrat Glen Zorn.