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Britt and Strong clinch GOP nominations

HUNTSVILLE — Mo Brooks’ career as an elected official has come to an end – and it wasn’t graceful.

The six-term congressman was defeated in Tuesday’s Republican runoff by Katie Britt for the GOP nomination for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat. Brooks also served five terms as a state legislator and four times as a Madison County commissioner.

With about 97% of the vote counted, Britt, the former chief of staff for retiring Sen. Richard Shelby, had about 252,881 votes (63%) to 148,425 votes (37%) for Brooks.

In the runoff for Brooks’ former Fifth Congressional District seat, Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong defeated former Huntsville City Schools superintendent Casey Wardynski.

With more than 97% of district precincts reporting, Strong had amassed 48,058 votes (63.4%) to Wardynski’s 27,755 (36.6%).

Surrounded by his family during his victory speech, Strong said the people have spoken overwhelmingly.

“Our country’s finest days are still ahead and I’m telling you right now it’s an honor, we are the Republican nominee to be the next congressman of the Fifth Congressional District,” he said.

Celebrating her nomination at a gathering in Montgomery, Britt, former CEO of the Business Council of Alabama, thanked her supporters and vowed to work for the people of Alabama.

“I promise you nobody will work harder in the United States Senate,” she said. “I will work tirelessly every day to make Alabama proud. Alabama’s future is bright.”

Meanwhile, during his concession speech in Huntsville, Brooks criticized the Britt campaign, calling her a Democrat.

“Congratulations to the Democrats, they now have two nominees in the general election,” Brooks stated to his gathered supporters he said. Brooks went on say that if America and Alabama voters don’t get smarter there’s no reason to have elections.

In the House District 20 runoff to represent parts of South Huntsville, James Lomax defeated Frances Taylor.

Lomax collected more than 63% of the vote to win the seat. There is no Democratic challenger in November.

Britt’s campaign will now set its sights on the Nov. 8 general election, where she will face Democratic Party nominee Will Boyd.

Strong faces Democratic nominee Kathy Warner-Stanton in the general election. The two GOP nominees will be heavily favored to prevail in the contests given Alabama’s overwhelming conservative-majority electorate.

On the Democrat side, in the only statewide race on the runoff ballot, Yolanda Flowers received more than 54% of the vote in her bid to become the Democratic nominee for governor.  She will face current Gov. Kay Ivey in the general election.

The statewide GOP runoff for secretary of state saw Wes Allen defeat Jim Zeigler, while Andrew Sorrell defeated Stan Cooke in the race for state auditor.

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