By Nate Hall
MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC) – The Associated Press made the call around 8:45 p.m. on Tuesday night that Dr. Robert Bentley would take the candidacy for the Republican Party in the governor's race in November.
The runoff was called around the time 67% percent of the precincts had reported with Bentley taking 57% of the vote to Byrne's 43%. Upon receiving the news, Bentley issued a statement on his Twitter feed: "Thank You Alabama. I am honored to be the Republican Nominee and if elected in November, I will be the Governor of all the people."
Dr. Bentley took to his podium around 9:15 p.m. on Tuesday night to accept the nomination. In his acceptance speech, Bentley made sure to thank Bradley Byrne and tell him that he appreciated him and the race he ran. Byrne had called Bentley shortly before the speech to congratulate him on the win. Bentley also took the time to thank the people he "adopted into his family", referring to the Tim James and Roy Moore supporters who backed him after the June primary.
Their runoff election received lots of attention in recent weeks over how political organizations and groups such as the Alabama Education Association were spending money funding campaign ads for and against the two candidates.
Bentley's upcoming Democratic opponent, Ron Sparks, issued a comment just before 10:00 p.m. congratulating Bentley on his win. It read: "I congratulate Robert Bentley and look forward to the fall campaign. I will continue to focus on those issues that impact the working families of Alabama, and job creation will be my top priority. Voters deserve an election that brings us together, not divides us, and one that focuses on the solutions to our problems. I think my highway jobs program, an education lottery, and my plan to tax and regulate gaming will get Alabama working again and will be the key to winning in November."
Several other people also faced runoffs on Tuesday:
James Anderson has been declared the victor over Giles Perkins for the Democrat nomination for Attorney General. Anderson had 62 percent of the vote to 38 percent for Perkins with 70% of the vote counted. Anderson will face Luther Strange in the November general election.
For the Republican nomination for Agriculture Commissioner, the race remains without a sure victor as John McMillan barely leads Dorman Grace by earning 52 percent of the votes to 48 percent with 99 percent of precincts reporting.
Twinkle Cavanaugh defeated Stephen Evans in the Republican runoff for Public Service Commission Place 1. Cavanaugh earned 62 percent to 38 percent for Evans.
In the Republican runoff for U.S. House District 2, Martha Roby easily beat Rick Barber. Roby had 60 percent of the votes, while Barber only gained had 40 percent.
For the Democrat nomination for U.S. House District 7, Terri Sewell beat Sheila Smoot by a clean margin. Sewell had 56 percent of the votes and Smoot had 44 percent of the votes. The winner will face Don Chamberlain, who defeated Chris Salter in the Republican runoff.
Political analysts said they expected voter turnout on Tuesday to be lighter than the primary election in June. Alabama Secretary of State Beth Chapman said there was around 17 percent voter turnout for the runoff and there was very little voter crossover. She added that there was one poll issue and it was "resolved immediately."
By Nate Hall