Jay Love Wins District 2 Republican Nomination

Jay Love gives his acceptance speech
Jay Love gives his acceptance speech

Montgomery, al. (WSFA) -- WSFA 12 News was first on the air and online with results from Tuesday's primary run-off election and the only television station to carry State Senator Harri Anne Smith's concession speech.

The Associated Press called the race for State Representative Jay Love around 8:45pm and both camps were leary of saying anything until they knew for sure.

Love's campaign manager, Michael Lowry, said the decision not to make an acceptance speech was out of caution, citing the "Dewey Defeats Truman" headline in a newspaper during the 1948 presidential election. The newspaper was incorrect and Truman became the 33rd President of the United States.

Word finally came down around 9:15 in the evening when Senator Harri Anne Smith conceded defeat to her opponent.

After an often bitter campaign, marred by negative attack ads, Representative Love, from Montgomery, won the GOP nomination for the 2nd Congressional District seat over Smith of Slocomb.

Love took 54% of the vote to Smith's 46% with about 47,000 votes cast in the race.

Smith concedes defeat

State Senator Harri Anne Smith started her concession speech by thanking her many supporters before finally announcing "...we fell a little short tonight..."

Smith congratulated her opponent and joked that even though her campaign came from 20 points behind to make the run-off, and was ultimately unsuccessful, they were "feeling the love tonight." Her speech lasted just 90 seconds.

Love Carries On to General Primary

The mood was considerably more upbeat at Jay Love's campaign headquarters where a cheering crowd chanted, "We love Jay."

The Republican nominee quickly set his eyes on the general election promising to show the stark differences betweenDemocratic opponent Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright and himself.

"The stakes are too high, the price is too great for the 2nd Congressional District seat to fall into to the hands of the liberal Democrat Party," said Love.

Love took a somewhat stern tone against the Democratic Party in his acceptance speech, "I could never be associated with a party that believed that animals are more important than people, that aborting a baby is a choice, that a captured terrorist has a greater right to pray than our school children or a party that believes the solution to our national debt is by increasing taxes and not cutting spending."

A candidate could probably win in New York or San Francisco, Love said of those ideas, but they wouldn't win a seat in the Second District.

In his final statements before leaving the podium, Love took aim at Democratic opponent Bobby Bright saying anyone who calls themselves a conservative but still runs as a democrat should make voters ask themselves, "What will the cost be to the 2nd Congressional District?"

Voters will get the chance to answer that question in November.

WSFA.com Producer: John Shryock