[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