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Sarah Stewart wins GOP chief justice nomination

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama Supreme Court Associate Justice Sarah Stewart is the Republican nominee for chief justice after winning Tuesday night’s primary election contest by a wide margin.

With 66 of 67 counties reporting, early and unofficial election results show Stewart received nearly 62% of the vote. Her lone opponent, former state senator and attorney Bryan Taylor received just over 38.32% of the vote, with close to 507,000 total votes cast in the race.

Stewart had outraised Taylor considerably, raising more than $2.3 million to Taylor’s $120,000.

“I am very grateful to the citizens of Alabama for trusting me to be the Republican nominee for chief justice, (and) I’m very grateful for all of the support that I have received from all of the judges, district attorneys, sheriffs and all the other people that supported me throughout this long campaign,” Stewart told Alabama Daily News Tuesday.

“We’ve been doing this since last March, and I’ve put over 110,000 miles on my car, and it’s been a lot, but I’ve really enjoyed getting to know so many people across the state. We have a beautiful state that we should be really proud of, and I’m looking forward to November.”

The race had become increasingly heated in its waning days after her opponent Taylor had repeatedly labeled her as “the most liberal justice on the Supreme Court,” and also called on her to recuse herself from casting further votes in the IVF case, alleging her to have a conflict of interest.

Nevertheless, Stewart told ADN that she applauded Taylor’s efforts in his campaign, and that he had called her to congratulate her victory.

“I thanked him for all of his hard work and also his desire to do what’s right for Alabama, I think he should be applauded for that,” Stewart said.

Taylor told ADN that he was thankful and “humbled” by the support his campaign saw from Alabamians across the state, and that despite the loss, was still “proud of the positive campaign” he ran.

“I love the law, I love the state of Alabama, and I want what’s best for our courts,” Taylor said. “God has a plan, and though we wanted a different outcome in this race, he is in control, and we can all be confident in that.”

Stewart ended her campaign Tuesday after claiming victory at the same place she launched it exactly a year prior, at Greer’s, a local grocery store in Mobile.

“We had a watch party downtown at one of our small business family-owned grocery stores called Greer’s in Mobile,” she said. “I had my original kickoff campaign party March 5 of last year there, so it’s fitting to have the watch party there this time.”

Stewart now goes on to compete in the general election in November, where she’ll face the Democratic nominee for chief justice, Circuit Court Judge Greg Griffin Sr.

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