Sewell a step away from being Ala's first black congresswoman

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Birmingham attorney Terri Sewell has won the Democratic nomination for the 7th Congressional District seat, putting her in position to become the first black woman elected to Congress from Alabama.

Sewell defeated Jefferson County Commissioner Shelia Smoot. With 82 percent of the vote counted Tuesday night, Sewell had 56 percent to 44 percent for Smoot.

Sewell will face Don Chamberlain of Selma. Chamberlain won the Republican runoff Tuesday, receiving 57 percent of the vote to 43 percent for Chris Salter of Birmingham with 78 percent of the vote counted.

Sewell will be the heavy favorite to win in the fall in a district that is solidly Democratic.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)