Taylor, Roby headed for runoffs in GOP Senate, Congress races

Published 12:37 am Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The race for the Republican Alabama Senate District 30 seat and the District 2 Congressional race will both head to a runoff. This after Senate candidate Bryan Taylor and Congressional candidate Martha Roby fell short by one percent of the vote needed for majority Tuesday.

Taylor and Ray Boles will vie July 13 in the state runoff for the GOP nomination. The winner will face Sen. Wendell Mitchell, D-Luverne in November.

Roby and Rick Barber will face one another in the Congressional runoff, and the winner will vie against incumbent Rep. Bobby Bright, D-Montgomery in November.

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“Six weeks ago we started from scratch, and we had a lot of ground work to make up since I entered the race so late,” said Taylor, who could not hit the campaign trail until he officially resigned as the governor’s policy director in April.

And, Taylor calls his sprint to winning nearly 50 percent of the vote in that span a “tremendous victory.”

“I think the voters understand I’m the conservative republican in this race, and we’ll work just as hard,” Taylor said. “We’ll work just as hard to get our message out to the voters because they are fed up with the system in Montgomery and career politicians.”

Boles could not be reached for comment Tuesday night. In a prior conversation with The Messenger’s reporters, he said he would be asleep election night and wait until the morning to see the results.

Taylor earned 7,350 votes and Boles trailed with 4,904 votes, about 33 percent of the votes. Ken Barnett, the third GOP candidate, gained a total of 2,704 votes, or 18 percent.

“I feel good about the race,” Barnett said. “I don’t like the fact the various media outlets didn’t let me get the knowledge about issues I had out.”

But, Barnett said he would support Taylor in the runoff.

“I think Taylor’s the best candidate. I like (Ray), but he’s not conservative,” Barnett said. “He either pretends he doesn’t have a grasp on the issues, or he doesn’t have a grasp on the issues.”

Both Stephanie Bell and “Fighting” Beau McKinney fell short for the runoff. Bell had 13,780 votes and McKinney 3,346.

Congressional candidates could not be reached for comment before press time Tuesday. See www.troymessenger.com for a more detailed story.