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House District 16, 55 special election candidates head to runoff

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Two Alabama House special elections now head to runoffs after primaries Tuesday failed to produce majority winners.

In the House District 16 Republican primary race, Brad Cox and Bryan Brinyark received 32.96% and 32.56% of the votes, respectively, with Brinyark tailing Cox by 15 ballots. 

In House District 55, the Democratic primary race saw Travis Hendrix and Sylvia Swayne take home the most votes, with Hendrix carrying 27.91% of the vote share versus Swayne’s 21.45%.

Cox and Brinyark and Hendrix and Swayne will face off in an Oct. 24 special runoff election. 

The Republican nominee in HD 16 will face John Underwood, a retired Fayette Police officer and the lone Democrat in the race, in a Jan. 9 special general election.

There is no Republican candidate in HD55.

The two special elections were called by Gov. Kay Ivey after the seats became vacant earlier this year.

House District 16, which represents parts of Jefferson and Tuscaloosa counties, as well as the entirety of Fayette County, saw its former representative Kyle South resign on June 30 after accepting the position of CEO with the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama. 

Fred Plump, who represented House District 55 in Jefferson County, resigned amid conspiracy and obstruction charges in May.

Cox and Brinyark were two of six Republicans vying for the nomination in the House District 16 race. During his campaign, Cox leaned heavily into his experience in agriculture and community services, whereas Brinyark, an attorney in Northport, campaigned on his judicial experience in having served as a municipal judge for several communities.

“I think that our message has been really simple; experience, common sense, conservative principles, and I think that’s really resonated with voters in the district,” Cox told Alabama Daily News Tuesday night. “We’ve been busy, we’ve knocked on doors, we’ve been visible in the communities and we worked really hard.”

Brinyark could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

Hendrix and Swayne were two of seven Democrats vying for the nomination in the House District 55 race.

During his campaign, Hendrix ran on a platform prioritizing economic growth, particularly for minority and women-owned companies. He also advocated for further cutting the state’s tax on groceries, as well as investing in more after-school and enrichment programs.

Swayne, who works in the tech industry, also ran on supporting minority-owned businesses, as well as increasing community safety through community policing, and expanding voting rights. If elected, Swayne would be the Legislature’s first transgender member.

In the unofficial election results, a total of 3,689 votes were cast in the House District 16 race, and 2,401 in the House District 55 race. Collectively, both races saw a voter turnout rate of 9.11%.

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