By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News
For the first time in 40 years, there won’t be a Sanders in the Alabama Senate next year. Former Sen. Hank Sanders’ bid to reclaim the seat he held for nine terms, until his daughter won it in 2018, fell short on Tuesday.
According to unofficial results, Selma native Robert L. Stewart won the Democrat primary runoff with about 55.6% of the vote in the eight-county district. Stewart now faces Republican Michael Nimmer in November for the Black Belt seat.
Malika Sanders Fortier left the seat to seek Democrats’ nomination for governor but also fell short Tuesday.
That was one of 11 legislative races on primary ballots Tuesday.
In Senate District 12, which includes Calhoun County and part of Talladega County, Republican Keith Kelley received 55.22% of the vote over Wendy Ghee Draper for the seat currently held by Sen. Del Marsh, R-Anniston. The winner will challenge Democrat Danny McCullars in November.
In the Alabama House, two incumbents appeared to hold off GOP challengers.
In north Alabama’s House District 4, Rep. Parker Moore, R-Hartselle, held off challenger Patrick Johnson of Decatur.
“I’m looking forward to continuing to share my conservative message of cutting more taxes, bringing more jobs and fighting for life at every turn,” Moore told Alabama Daily News. Moore received 53.74% of the vote.
There is no Democrat candidate.
In House District 14, two-term incumbent Tim Wadsworth, R-Arley, received 55.69% of the vote over fellow Winston County resident and Morgan County business owner Tom Fredricks. There is no Democrat candidate.
In House District 55 in Jefferson County, incumbent Rep. Rod Scott appeared to be losing to Fred “Coach” Plump by 33 votes, according to unofficial results. Plump had 50.89% of the vote. That contest started as a five-person primary in May. There is no Republican candidate.
In North Alabama’s House District 2, currently held by retiring Rep. Lynn Greer, Republicans Ben Harrison, a former Limestone County Commission member, led Jason Spencer Black with 55.58% of the vote. A challenge to the state Republican Party has been filed in that primary. A third candidate, Kimberly Butler, missed the runoff by five votes. There is no Democrat candidate.
In House District 20 in Madison County, Republican James Lomax, whose career is in commercial real estate, appeared to be the pick to replace longtime Rep. Howard Sanderford. Lomax edged out Frances Taylor. There is no Democrat running for the seat.
In southern Jefferson County’s open House District 56, Democrat Ontario Tillman received 71.3% of the vote over Tereshia Huffman. There is no Republican candidate.
In House District 40, the contest between Republicans Chad Robertson and Julie Borrelli was close late Tuesday night, with Robertson leading by 21 votes. The winner faces Democrat Pamela Howard in November.
In House District 57, Democrat Patrick Sellers is the nominee to replace Merika Coleman, D-Birmingham, who last month became Democrats’ nominee for state Senate in her district. Sellers won 52.45% over Charles Ray Winston III. Delor Baumann is the Republican nominee for the House seat.
And in House District 100, long held by retiring Rep. Victor Gaston, R-Mobile, Republican Mark Shirey received 61.53% over Pete Kupfer. No Democrat is running for the seat.
Several of Tuesday’s legislative contests were decided by a few thousand voters. Turnout Tuesday was about 12% of registered voters, according to the secretary of state’s office.