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While most were focused on the top of the ticket's contentious U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races, some competitive legislative races on the ballot ended with surprising outcomes on Tuesday.
If you were an incumbent, you were likely a solid pick for reelection. However, that wasn't true for every candidate.
Also, there were a handful of empty seats where the odds-on favorite did not prevail.
1) House District 94: Jennifer Fidler upsets incumbent State Rep. Joe Faust (R-Fairhope) in a blowout -- At age 81, Faust said he felt he still had some unfinished business as an Alabama legislator. The five-term incumbent had survived challenges over the years and had represented his portion of the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay during an era of unprecedented growth.
However, it was not meant to be, as Faust lost in a stunner on Tuesday. With 86% of the votes in, Fidler was ahead of Faust by 27 points, which amounted to 2,336 votes.
No Democratic Party candidate qualified for the House District 94 seat.
2) State Senate District 27: Auburn City Councilman Jay Hovey leads incumbent State Sen. Tom Whatley (R-Auburn) by four votes -- Could the magic have finally run out for Whatley? Seemingly every election cycle, Whatley, a three-term incumbent and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, narrowly evades defeat and hangs on to his seat.
For this election, Whatley reportedly raised $1,221,743 to Hovey's $94,674, which gave him a significant advantage.
Apparently, the race will come down to the provisional ballots left to be counted, which according to the Opelika-Auburn News, means at least another week until we know who will face Democratic Party nominee Sherri Reese in November.
3) State Senate District 15: Incumbent State Sen. Dan Roberts (R-Mountain Brook) holds off Brian Christie -- This year has not been a kind year for Roberts, who lost his wife on March 4 after a bout with COVID-19.
However, there was one bright spot for Roberts, who defeated Homewood urologist Dr. Brian Christie on Tuesday by nearly 17 points.
The contest was not inexpensive, as Roberts and Christie reportedly spent over $200,000 each.
4) State Senate District 2: Incumbent State Sen. Tom Butler (R-Madison) avenges 2010 loss to former State Sen. Bill Holtzclaw -- This one was on the radar for many on the seventh floor of the Alabama State House.
The match-up pitted Butler against Holtzclaw, who defeated Butler, then a Democrat, in the Republican wave general election of 2010. Holtzclaw served two terms but opted out of running for reelection in 2018.
Butler, who had switched parties by 2018, won his old seat. He was also a well-financed candidate, raising $535,260 to Holtzclaw's $22,000.
In the end, Butler defeated Holtzclaw by 18 points on Tuesday. However, Butler could have a tough match-up in the general election against Kim Lewis in District 2, which was redrawn during reapportionment with a partisan Democrat-lean.
5) State House District 28: Former State Rep. Mack Butler defeats incumbent State Rep. Gil Isbell (R-Gadsden) -- Butler is headed back to Montgomery after narrowly defeating Isbell by a 52-48 margin.
This one was to be close, and it did not disappoint. Butler had previously served in the Alabama House of Representatives.
He vacated his then-House District 30 seat in 2018 to seek the Republican nomination for the State Senate District 10 spot but lost to now-State Sen. Andrew Jones (R-Centre).
Embattled State Rep. Will Dismukes (R-Prattville) lost his House District 88 race to Prattville City Council president Jerry Starnes.
Wendy Ghee Draper and Keith Kelley will go head-to-head in a runoff as neither was able to obtain the needed 50% for the GOP nod in State Senate District 12, the seat held by outgoing State Sen. Del Marsh (R-Anniston).
Josh Carnley defeated State Rep. Mike Jones (R-Andalusia), the chairman of the House Rules Committee, in an apparent mild upset for the State Senate District 31 spot, currently held by long-time outgoing State Sen. Jimmy Holley (R- Elba).
Incumbent State Rep. Proncey Robertson (R-Mt. Hope) lost by nine points in his House District 7 reelection bid to Ernie Yarbrough.
Incumbent conservative stalwart State Rep. Tommy Hanes (R-Bryant) was apparently defeated by four points in House District 23 to Mike Kirkland.
Susan Dubose defeated incumbent State Rep. Dickie Drake (R-Leeds) by a 3-to-1 margin in the House District 45 primary.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com.
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