Just as the national outcomes left much to be desired for Republicans, some state-level races did not go as hoped for the GOP on Tuesday, either.
Republicans dominated in the races they were expected to win. All of the statewide elections went for Republicans. Kay Ivey cruised to another term. Katie Britt will fill the seat vacated by U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa). Just as he had four years earlier, Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth will likely be the top vote-earner in this election cycle.
However, some longshot Republicans were hoping to ride a red wave that never quite developed and did not fare as well as they had hoped in some local races, including in the Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile areas.
Jefferson County Republican sheriff hopeful Jared Hudson came up short in his bid to unseat incumbent Jefferson County Sheriff Mark Pettway by just over 8,000 votes, or 4%.
State Rep. Charlotte Meadows (R-Montgomery) was defeated by 20 points in her bid to secure reelection in Montgomery's House District 74.
And in South Alabama, State Sen. Vivian Figures (D-Mobile) defeated Republican nominee Pete Riehm by a 2-to-1 margin in a redrawn State Senate District 33 that added Republican stronghold Spanish Fort in Baldwin County.
House Districts 68 and 69 were also thought as possible Republican pickups. However, State Rep. Kelvin Lawrence (D-Hayneville) defeated GOP challenger Karla Knight Maddox to hold HD69. With 90% of the tally in, State Rep. Thomas "Action" Jackson (D-Thomasville) is holding on to a 500-plus vote lead over Republican candidate Fred Kelley in HD68.
Republicans swept in Huntsville-area races that were competitive. State Sens. Tom Butler (R-Madison) and Sam Givhan (R-Huntsville), along with Republican House candidates Phillip Rigsby and David Cole, held their GOP districts.
The Grand Ole Party picked up one seat in southeastern Alabama as Republican Rick Rehm defeated veteran State Rep. Dexter Grimsley (D-Abbeville).
Jeff Poor is the executive editor of 1819 News and host of "The Jeff Poor Show," heard Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-noon on Mobile's FM Talk 106.5. To connect or comment, email [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @jeff_poor.
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