July 14th, 2010
08:28 AM ET
13 years ago

Establishment candidate loses in Alabama gov. contest

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/14/art.robertbentley.file2.bentleyflickr.jpg caption ="Robert Bentley won the GOP gubernatorial nomination in Alabama Tuesday night."](CNN) - State Rep. Robert Bentley is the Republican gubernatorial nominee in Alabama.

Bentley topped Bradley Byrne 56 to 44 percent in Tuesday's runoff election, according to an unofficial vote count tabulated by the Associated Press. Bryne, a former state senator and former chancellor of the state's community colleges, was considered the GOP establishment candidate. Republican Gov. Bob Riley, who is term limited and prevented from running for re-election this year, backed Byrne.

Byrne came in first in Alabama's June 1 primary, with Bentley narrowly edging out businessman Tim James by less than 300 votes for second place. Bentley will now face off in November against Alabama Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks, the Democratic nominee.

"As governor of Alabama, Dr. Robert Bentley will bring strong conservative fiscal policies to Montgomery, ensuring that taxes remain low and that businesses can thrive without the burdensome interference of excessive government regulations," said Tim Murtaugh, spokesman for the Republican Governors Association.

National Democrats countered, saying the candidates raced away from the mainstream during the runoff campaign.

"The ugly fight in this runoff typifies the civil war that is hurting the GOP's chances all over the country this fall. Republicans emerge from this fight divided and dispirited. Robert Bentley will have a tough road ahead uniting his party," said Nathan Daschle, executive director of the Democratic Governors Association.

Another race that captured national attention was the runoff battle for the GOP nomination in Alabama's second congressional district. But in this case, establishment candidate Martha Roby won.

Roby, a former two term city council member in Montgomery who was recruited to run by the National Republican Campaign Committee, topped businessman Rick Barber 60 to 40 percent, according to an AP count of the vote. Roby will now face freshman Democratic Rep. Bobby Bright, who narrowly won the district in 2008.

Barber, who won the support of many Tea Party activists, 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."

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: 2010 • Alabama • Robert Bentley
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Steve in North Carolina

    Good. Another career politician bites the dust!

    July 14, 2010 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  2. FM

    Can I help you CNN with the heading of this text? It should read: The Tea Party Supported Candidate in Alabama Has Lost The Nomination.

    July 14, 2010 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  3. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Another neo-con bites the dust.

    GOP, wake up! The era when thumping your bibles was how you got elected are over.

    About a third of the electorate these days are Independents, a lot of whom, at the moment, are Dems disappointed by Obama, and the rest are former Republicans repelled by the bible-thumping (not to mention feeling betrayed by the abandonment by Bush &co of any shred of fiscal restraint). Most of the Independents lie somewhere between offended by the bible-thumping and indifferent to it–what matters is the economy.

    Religion is divisive. It's a large factor in the rift between real conservatives and the neo-cons. The main things those groups have in common is concern for the economy. Basing a political platform on religion also tends to repel disaffected Dems.

    The conclusion is straight-forward: Get the religion out of your politics. GOP, and you, and the country, win big in November; keep thumping your bibles and lose. It's that simple.

    July 14, 2010 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    Wake up GOP.....people are tired of the political machines......from either party......and they are going for real change this time.

    July 14, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  5. State Rep. Robert Bentley is the Republican gubernatorial nominee in Alabama

    Alabama, you are so screwed

    July 14, 2010 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  6. A Conservative

    "Nathan Daschle" , Tom's little boy? Wow...and thought that it was only the Republicans that had royal families where power is passed from generation to generation.

    July 14, 2010 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  7. Keith in Austin

    This speaks volumes regarding the will of the American people and the impending doom for incumbants-especially Liberal Democrats!

    July 14, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  8. Bertina

    Anyone who wants us to live like the constitution states is living in the

    July 14, 2010 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  9. Wil in the VA.

    Tea party favorite loses another one what a shame ha ha .

    July 14, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  10. jenifer

    out with the old in with the new at our on peril

    July 14, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |