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Daily News Digest – March 4, 2020

Good morning!
Everybody get plenty of sleep? Yeah, me neither.
Congrats to all the election winners, but a heartfelt kudos to all the candidates who had the courage to put their names on the ballot and the campaign staffers who worked their tails off for the last year.
Here’s your Daily News for Wednesday, March 4.



1. Senate, House races head to runoffs

  • The three most closely-watched races in Alabama – the Republican primaries for U.S. Senate and Congress in AL-1 and AL-2 – are all headed for runoff elections on March 31.
  • For Senate, Tommy Tuberville was the top vote earner with 237,821 votes or 33.41%. He’ll face next-best finisher Jeff Sessions, who earned 224,985 votes or 31.61%. Bradley Byrne fell short of making the runoff with 177,217 votes, or 24.9%
  • [By the way, President Donald Trump is already tweeting about the race]
  • Read more about the Senate race from Kim Chandler HERE.
  • In AL-1 it will be former State Sen. Bill Hightower facing Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl in a runoff. Carl had 38.71% of the vote compared to Hightower’s 37.47%. State Rep. Chris Pringle came in at 19.23%.
  • Read more about AL-1 from Caroline Beck HERE.
  • AL-2 is where it really gets interesting. Dothan businessman Jeff Coleman was far out ahead with 38.3% of the vote, but the race for second place is razor-thin. Former State Rep. Barry Moore has 20,830 votes, or 20.59%, while Prattville businesswoman Jessica Taylor has 20,037 votes, or 19.8%. That’s a difference of 793 votes.
  • No one is conceding or claiming victory as of yet. This is usually when the lawyers get involved.
  • Read more on AL-2 from Caroline Beck HERE.
  • Also, no surprise here but AL-5 Congressman Mo Brooks soundly defeated challenger Chris Lewis 75-25 to win his sixth term in the U.S. House.


2. Court races mostly clear cut

  • The races for judgeships on Alabama’s appellate courts mostly ended in clear-cut victories, but there will be one runoff.
  • Sitting Supreme Court Justice Greg Shaw fended off a challenge from State Sen. Cam Ward Tuesday in the Republican primary for his Place 1 seat on the high court.
  • Shaw received 341,442 votes earning 58.43%, while Ward received 242,913 votes, good enough for 41.57%, according to the latest unofficial tally from the Alabama Secretary of State’s office.
  • Read more from ADN’s Abby Driggers HERE.
  • For Place 1 on the Court of Civil Appeals, State Rep. Matt Fridy, R-Montevallo, defeated Pelham attorney Phillip Bahakel by a 66-34% margin.
  • For Place 1 on the Court of Criminal Appeals, incumbent Judge Mary Windom defeated Cullman attorney Melvin Hasting by a 70-30% margin.
  • For Place 2 on the Court of Criminal Appeals, incumbent Judge Beth Kellum will face former Lauderdale County Commissioner Will Smith in a runoff on March 31.
  • Kellum won 230,050 votes, which totals 43.3% of the vote – less than the majority needed to win the race outright. Smith had the second highest vote total with 197,274, good enough for 37.13%. Former Jefferson County judge Jill Ganus came in third with 103,945 votes, or 19.57%.
  • Read more on the Civil and Criminal Appeals Court races from ADN’s Devin Pavlou HERE.



3. Voters roundly reject education amendment

  • Amendment One was defeated soundly, with more than 1.1 millions vote cast, about 75% were “no” votes.
  • The amendment would have done away with the current elected Alabama State Board of Education that oversees K-12 education, replacing it with a governor-appointed commission.
  • The amendment’s defeat is a loss for Gov. Kay Ivey, who was its chief advocate. Press secretary Gina Maiola said Tuesday night that Ivey was disappointed, but that her “resolve to improve our public education system remains intact.”
  • The 2019 legislation that allowed Tuesday’s vote also directed a new commission to adopt a new course of study to replace Common Core in the state, controversial standards first adopted by the board in 2010. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Del Marsh, R-Anniston, also called for new assessment and accountability systems.
  • “I am disappointed, we had the opportunity to fundamentally reform education in this state unlike we had seen at any point in the past 50 years and move to a system that has proven to work in the states which are top ranked in education across the country,” Marsh said Tuesday night.
  • Read more from ADN’s Mary Sell HERE.



4. Biden bounces back in Super Tuesday surge

  • A resurgent Joe Biden scored victories from Texas to Massachusetts on Super Tuesday, revitalizing a presidential bid that was teetering on the edge of disaster just days earlier. But his rival Bernie Sanders seized the biggest prize with a win in California that ensured he — and his embrace of democratic socialism — would drive the Democrats’ nomination fight for the foreseeable future.
  • And suddenly, the Democratic Party’s presidential field, which featured more than a half-dozen candidates a week ago, transformed into a two-man contest.
  • Read more about the state of play in the Democratic Primary HERE.


5. Statewide 5G bill moving in Legislature

  • A bill that would set a state-wide standard for deploying 5G cellular infrastructure, including how much money cities can charge providers for access to existing utility structures, is moving again this year in the Legislature.
  • Senate Bill 172 would mandate a request process for cities to follow when approached by wireless providers like AT&T and Verizon and sets a cap on the fees municipalities can charge companies for the use of city owned rights-of-ways.
  • It passed out of the Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development committee last week with no opposition.
  • However, municipal leaders say the bill takes away too much local control, and they are aiming to slow down or stop the bill altogether.
  • Read more from ADN’s Caroline Beck HERE.








A message from the

Safe Surgery Coalition

Dangerous legislation has been re-introduced in the Alabama Legislature which would allow people who are not medical doctors or trained surgeons to perform surgery on or around your eyes.
Similar legislation was rejected in 2019 and we ask that Alabama lawmakers once again stand in the best interests of patient safety and quality of care.








ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Sessions, Tuberville head to runoff in Alabama Senate race


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Coleman headed to runoff in AL-2, will await challenger from close race


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Carl, Hightower headed for GOP runoff in AL-1


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Statewide 5G infrastructure bill passes first vote but cities still concerned


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Shaw wins re-election to Supreme Court


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Fridy, Windom win appellate court races; Kellum and Smith head to runoff


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabamians: Keep elected state board of education


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Biden claims 9 Super Tuesday victories, including Texas


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Prison reform package backed by Ivey promises better rehabilitation and oversight


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – March 3, 2020


AL.COM  – Alabama Senate race headed for GOP runoff on March 31


AL.COM  – Alabama votes tallied in Public Service Commission, appellate court races


AL.COM  – Runoffs set for GOP, Democrats in U.S. House District 1


AL.COM  – Tuberville on getting into runoff with Sessions: ‘We’re going to overtime’


AL.COM  – Alabama company racing to develop new test for coronavirus COVID-19


AL.COM  – Mo Brooks easily wins House District 5 GOP primary


AL.COM  – Alabama voters reject plan to fire state school board


AL.COM  – Alabama cop fired for Facebook post about roadside bomb for ‘dumbocrats’


AL.COM  – Joe Biden wins Alabama Democratic primary


AL.COM  – Alabama Media Group’s Kyle Whitmire wins national writing award


AL.COM  – Gov. Kay Ivey signs bill blocking Montgomery occupational tax


AL.COM  – Remembering a deadly Alabama tornado one year later


AL.COM  – Contributor Martin Luther King III: Alabama set to execute ‘very likely innocent man’


Montgomery Advertiser – Runoff: Coleman has lead in US House District 2; opponent remains unclear


Montgomery Advertiser – Tommy Tuberville, Jeff Sessions headed to runoff in GOP race for Alabama Senate


Montgomery Advertiser – Joe Biden wins Alabama Democratic primary 2020 in presidential race


YellowHammer News – Carl holds narrow lead over Hightower heading into AL-01 runoff


YellowHammer News – Tuberville leads Sessions heading into runoff


YellowHammer News – Amendment One rejected by Alabama voters by wide margin


Dothan Eagle – Coleman awaits opponent for GOP 2nd District nominee


Dothan Eagle – Local race results on Wiregrass ballots


Dothan Eagle – Voters say no to appointed state school board


Tuscaloosa News – Biden, Trump win; results of other Alabama races


Tuscaloosa News – Lake, Presley win school board positions


Tuscaloosa News – Statewide 5G bill passes first vote


BIRMINGHAM WATCH : Sessions, Tuberville Headed to a Runoff for the Republican Nomination to Senate


Decatur Daily – Morgan schools win court battle on online sales tax


Decatur Daily – Statewide 5G bill passes first vote, but cities concerned



Decatur Daily – Baggett, Kusta in district judge runoff


Times Daily – Police arrest suspect in shooting


Times Daily – Area health officer says state, Colbert County, preparing for Covid-19


Times Daily – Hill, Williams head to runoff in superintendent race


Anniston Star – Sessions, Tuberville headed to runoff for Senate nomination


Anniston Star – Alabama suffers another disappointing loss to last-place Vanderbilt in home finale


Anniston Star – Statewide 5G infrastructure bill passes first vote but cities still concerned


Gadsden Times – Tuberville, Sessions headed for GOP Senate runoff


Gadsden Times – LIVE: Etowah County primary election results


Gadsden Times – Chase ends in officer-involved shooting


Troy Messenger – Troy residents prepare for new coronavirus


Troy Messenger – PRIMARY TRACKER: Pike County votes on statewide, national races


Troy Messenger – Republican runoff triggered for Alabama’s 2nd District


Andalusia Star News – 9,555 turnout for primaries


Andalusia Star News – County sides with Sessions, Coleman


Opelika-Auburn News – Tuberville, Biden win big in Lee County


Opelika-Auburn News – Beauregard pulls together to remember tornado victims


Opelika-Auburn News – Spencer among Auburn alumni honored


Daily Mountain Eagle – Rising from the ashes: Jasper First Nazarene dedicates new sanctuary


Daily Mountain Eagle – Group drives 2,000 miles to deliver 36 dogs


Daily Mountain Eagle – Program to allow students to learn about healthcare field


Trussville Tribune – Sessions, Tuberville head to runoff in Alabama Senate race


Trussville Tribune – Shane Shelnutt announces run for Trussville City Council


Trussville Tribune – Leeds Council announces move to new city hall building in April


Athens News Courier – NEW RULES FOR LCS: Proposed guidelines aim to clarify campus advertising


Athens News Courier – Biden, Trump win in Alabama, Limestone


Athens News Courier – Wreck blocks portion of U.S. 72, just west of McCulley Mill Road


Sand Mountain Reporter – Geraldine officer fired for Facebook comments


Sand Mountain Reporter – High-speed chase in DeKalb County ends in shooting


WSFA Montgomery – Alabama votes ‘no’ to state-appointed school board


WSFA Montgomery – Alabama couple who survived deadly 2011 tornado, also survive Tuesday’s deadly tornado in Nashville


WSFA Montgomery – Prattville man dies in crash in which vehicle caught fire


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Birmingham police investigating 14th homicide of 2020


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – UA Chief Medical Officer says flu a bigger threat than Coronavirus nationally


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Alabama couple who survived deadly 2011 tornado, also survive Tuesday’s deadly tornado in Nashville


WAFF Huntsville – Judge rules in favor of Morgan County school districts in online sales tax dispute


WAFF Huntsville – Permanent memorial planned in honor of Lee County tornado victims


WAFF Huntsville – Bradley Byrne loses Republican Primary battle for US Senate seat


WKRG Mobile – Biden wins Minnesota, surges in South; Sanders wins Colorado


WKRG Mobile – Cirque Italia to perform Thursday through Sunday in Fort Walton Beach


WKRG Mobile – Sen. Doug Jones calls on Alabamians to ‘reject those that seek to divide us’ during Alabama Senate Primary


WTVY Dothan – Coleman campaign watching returns in Downtown Dothan


WTVY Dothan – GOP Senate Candidate Ruth Page Nelson calls for voters to put party aside


WTVY Dothan – Biden wins 8 Super Tuesday states; Sanders takes California


WASHINGTON POST  – Joe Biden romps in Super Tuesday presidential contests


WASHINGTON POST  – Trump coronavirus effort undermined by mixed messages and falsehoods


WASHINGTON POST  – Pence says every American can get a coronavirus test


WASHINGTON POST  – Supreme Court considers options in reviewing consumer bureau’s structure


WASHINGTON POST  – Worries about medical bills and lost pay may hamper coronavirus efforts in the United States


WASHINGTON POST  – Trump wants to lift the ban on transporting liquefied natural gas on trains. Opponents say it’s a risk.


NEW YORK TIMES  – Fed Makes Emergency Rate Cut, but Markets Continue Tumbling


NEW YORK TIMES  – The Wall Some Texans Want to Build Against Abortion


NEW YORK TIMES  – Columnist Thomas Friedman: Forget Super Tuesday. It’s the Day After That Matters


NEW YORK TIMES  – Waive Fees for Coronavirus Tests and Treatment, Health Experts Urge



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