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Brinyark, Kitchens win respective special elections

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Bryan Brinyark and Rep. Wes Kitchens, R-Arab, are the newest members of the Alabama House and Senate, respectively, after voters took to the polls Tuesday in two special elections.

In State House District 16, which includes the entirety of Fayette County, as well as portions of Jefferson and Tuscaloosa counties, Bryan Brinyark received more than 83% of the vote in a special general election, defeating Democrat John Underwood, per the unofficial election results.

An attorney and acting municipal court judge, Brinyark has campaigned on his legal and judicial experience during the race, and has named lowering taxes and improving education through expanding school choice as among his top legislative priorities.

In State Senate District 9, which includes Marshall County and portions of Blount and Madison counties, current State House Rep. Wes Kitchens, R-Arab, received nearly 53% of the vote, handily defeating his two Republican opponents, Rep. Brock Colvin, R-Albertville, and Stacy Lee George in a special primary. With Kitchens receiving more than 50% of the vote, no runoff election will be held. There is no Democrat or independent candidate in this race, so no general election will be held, the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office said.

A special election will be needed to fill Kitchens’ House seat.

Similar to Brinyark, Kitchens has also campaigned on lowering taxes, though was also able to tout during his campaign his legislative accomplishments related to job creation and workforce development, including his role in helping secure $30 million for a workforce development and training center in Marshall County.

Clay Scofield, the former senator representing the district, stepped down in October to accept a position at the Business Council of Alabama.

Kyle South, the former representative of HD16, stepped down from his position in June after accepting a position as CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama. A special election was held in September that saw seven candidates – six Republicans and one Democrat – qualify for the race.

With no candidate receiving more than 50% of the vote, the two top-leading Republican candidates – Brinyark and Brad Cox, with Brinyark tailing Cox by just 15 votes – went on to face off in a special primary election runoff, where Brinyark came out victorious. And on Tuesday, Brinyark won his final contest with 2,370 votes to Underwood’s 469.

In a statement, Alabama GOP Chairman John Wahl congratulated both Brinyark and Kitchens, calling them both “outstanding candidates,” and labeled Tuesday as another victory for conservatives in the state.

“Today’s results show that Alabama voters want strong, conservative leadership in Montgomery,” he said Tuesday. “The Republican party is committed to protecting our traditional, conservative values from the radical left wing agenda and its woke policies. I look forward to working with all our candidates this legislative session, as we work to defend the rights and freedoms of every individual and pass legislation that puts people first.”

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