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Alabama GOP Primaries Head To Run-offs

In the seat of retiring Rep. Terry Everett (R-Ala.), Republicans will head into a run-off to determine the party’s standard-bearer. Restaurateur Jay Love, who largely self-financed his campaign, handily outdistanced a crowded field of rivals, but fell well short of the 50 percent necessary to win the nomination outright.

Love led the six-candidate field with 35 percent of the vote, while state senator Harri Anne Smith finished second with 22 percent. They both will face off in a July 15 runoff.

The winner will face Montgomery mayor Bobby Bright (D), who faced only nominal opposition in his own primary. Bright is one of the Democrats’ leading recruits, and they believe his culturally-conservative profile can help him compete in a district that has been inhospitable to Democratic candidates in recent years.

President Bush carried the southeastern Alabama district with 67 percent of the vote in 2004.

There will also be a GOP runoff in the northern Alabama district of retiring Rep. Bud Cramer (D-Ala), where  insurance broker Wayne Parker won 49 percent of the vote in the Republican primary -- just short of the 50 percent mark necessary to win the nomination. Instead, he will face self-funded attorney Cheryl Baswell Guthrie in a runoff next month.

Democratic state senator Parker Griffith handily won the Democratic nomination, and awaits the winner of the GOP runoff.

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