Alabama: Love Gains Slot in GOP Runoff, Foe Not Yet Known

Posted June 3, 2008 at 9:26pm

In Alabama’s crowded 2nd district Republican primary, state Rep. Jay Love appears headed to a July runoff, but it remained unclear late Tuesday who will run against him. With 96 percent of precincts reporting, Love held a commanding lead over his five other GOP primary opponents Tuesday night, with about 35 percent of the vote. State Sen. Harri Anne Smith and oral surgeon Craig Schmidtke had 22 percent and 20 percent, respectively. The southwest Alabama district was not expected to be competitive at the beginning of this cycle, but Republican Rep. Terry Everett’s retirement, combined with the strong Democratic recruiting efforts that brought Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright into the race, have given Democrats an unexpected opportunity in what had been a safe Republican seat. Bright, who is running as a conservative Democrat, easily won his party’s nomination Tuesday without a runoff. Bright was facing Alabama National Organization for Women President Cheryl Sabel and dentist Cendie Crawley.