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Whatley, others file challenges in state legislative races

By MARY SELL and MADDISON BOOTH, Alabama Daily News

AUBURN, Ala. – Three-term state Sen. Tom Whatley, R-Auburn, has contested to the Alabama Republican Party the results of last week’s GOP primary in which he lost to challenger Jay Hovey by one vote.

Whatley’s is one of several challenges by legislative candidates received by the ALGOP as of Thursday’s noon deadline. The party did not release information on why races are contested or what resolutions candidates are seeking.

Whatley has not publicly commented on his razor-thin race and could not be reached after repeated attempts.

Senate District 27 includes parts of Lee, Tallapoosa and Russell counties. Hovey, an Auburn City Council member, carried Lee County, while Whatley won in Russell and Tallapoosa counties.

Whatley spent about $1.2 million on the race, compared to Hovey’s $94,674, according to campaign finance records. Whatley tried to paint Hovey as a liberal.

The ALGOP doesn’t have to finalize its nominees for the November general election until July. Sherri Reese is the Democrat running for Senate District 27.

The challenges filed with the state party are different from requests for recounts that are filed at the county party level. The deadline for both was Thursday.

Other races

According to the ALGOP, other contests received were in:

  • Alabama House District 1, where incumbent Phillip Pettus held off challenger  Maurice McCaney by about 360 votes;
  • Alabama House District 2, where four Republicans were vying for the seat currently held by Rep. Lynn Greer. By thin margins, Jason Black and Ben Harrison advanced to a runoff, with Kimberly Butler narrowly missing it.
  • Alabama House District 28;
  • Alabama House District 29;
  • Lauderdale County Commission District 1;
  • Several Lauderdale County ALGOP State Executive Committee seats;
  • Several Lauderdale County ALGOP Executive Committee seats.


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