July 13th, 2010
08:15 AM ET
4 years ago

Alabama voters head to polls in crucial runoffs

 Bradley Byrne (left), a former state senator and former chancellor of Alabama’s community colleges, faces off against state Rep. Robert Bently (right) in Tuesday’s runoff election.
Bradley Byrne (left), a former state senator and former chancellor of Alabama’s community colleges, faces off against state Rep. Robert Bently (right) in Tuesday’s runoff election.

(CNN) - It's election day in Alabama, again.

Voters head to the polls to cast ballots in runoff elections six weeks after the state's June 1 primaries.

The biggest contest is the battle for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. Bradley Byrne, a former state senator and former chancellor of the state's community colleges, faces off against state Rep. Robert Bently. Byrne came in first in the primary, with Bently edging out businessman Tim James by less the 300 votes for second place.

The winner faces off in November against Alabama Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks, the Democratic nominee. The race is to succeed Republican Gov. Bob Riley, who is term limited. Riley announced Friday that he would vote for Byrne.

Also up for grabs Tuesday is the GOP nomination for the state's second congressional district. On the ballot are Martha Roby, who served two terms on the Montgomery city council, and businessman Rick Barber, who's won the support of many Tea Party activists. Roby came in first in the primary, but Barber has captured national attention for a provocative web ad that rails against what's described as an oppressive federal government and urges voters to "gather your armies."

The winner will face freshman Democratic Rep. Bobby Bright, who narrowly won the district in 2008.

In the seventh congressional District, the Democratic nomination is up for grabs, with Attorney Terri Sewell facing off against Jefferson County Commissioner Shelia Smoot. The race is to succeed Rep. Artur Davis, who lost badly to Sparks in the Democratic primary for governor.

Alabama is a rare state that allows people who voted in one party's contests in the primary to cast ballots in the other party's contests in the runoff.

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: 2010 • Alabama
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    Barber has some strange ads. It will be interesting if he will be able to assemble his armies and join with the revolutionary war actors he hired, to overthrow the government.

    July 13, 2010 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  2. K. Sillsbury

    I like the freedom Alabama show it's people by not taking sides in politics. Voting in both or all parties lower levels is good for the people. I still feel the repugs are against the people and will nolonger exist after 2012 and that's good for America.

    July 13, 2010 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  3. Keith in Austin

    Either one of these guys will blow the Democrat candidate out of the water in November!

    July 13, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  4. battle for the Republican gubernatorial nomination

    do the country a favor and don't vote GOP, pick a dem

    July 13, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  5. Sniffit

    Fried stupid with a side of stewed misinformed.

    July 13, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  6. Annie, Atlanta

    Not that anyone is actually interested in what I think, but I have to share just the same. If I lived in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, or South Carolina I would have to question the intelligence of voting to put the same party in charge decade after decade. Y'all are at the bottom of all the charts. Has no one asked themselves why? And while you're asking, check out what these politicians are worth before they get into office, and then after they leave. Oh (lightbulb pops on)!

    July 13, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |