Controversial candidate shunned by ALGOP loses, but barely

Controversial candidate shunned by ALGOP loses, but barely
Jim Bonner says he's exploring his options. (Source: Jim Bonner Facebook campaign page)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A Republican candidate whom the Alabama Republican party urged citizens not to vote for has lost his primary race, though by the slimmest of margins.

Jim Bonner was running against incumbent Jeremy Oden in the Alabama Public Service Commission's Place 1 GOP primary race, but the state party made the rare decision to censure him, then warn voters not to waste their ink bubbling his name in on a ballot.

With the unofficial results in, Bonner (217,049) and Oden (220,744) were nearly tied with a total of 437,793 votes cast. Just 3,695 votes kept Bonner from declaring victory, at least symbolically. He garnered 49.57 percent of the vote.

But even if Bonner had won, the ALGOP said it would not certify any of the votes cast for him.

The ALGOP has not addressed the specific actions against Bonner, but party chairwoman Terry Lathan said in late May "Mr. Bonner's recent comments on his social media as well as radio shows are not condoned by the Alabama Republican party," and added, "we reject the egregious comments Mr. Bonner continues to spew."

Reached for comment, Bonner told WSFA 12 News Wednesday that he's exploring his legal remedies, that he's filed an appeal, and that a new executive committee of the Alabama GOP will be in place in August.

Bonner said "a number of voting irregularities have been brought to my attention as well as some legal contribution issues," though he did not cite specific details.

Oden will go on to face Democrat Cara McClure, who ran unopposed in the primary, in the November general election.

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