It’s primary election day in Alabama’s 1st District, where voters will begin filling a vacancy in a Republican-leaning area in and around Mobile.
The nine-candidate Republican primary probably won’t produce an outright majority-vote winner. The top two Republicans would advance to a Nov. 5 runoff, after which the Democratic and Republican nominees would compete in a Dec. 17 special election.
The big Republican field includes Bradley Byrne, a former state senator and 2010 gubernatorial candidate; Chad Fincher, a state representative; Wells Griffith, a former Republican National Committee aide; Quin Hillyer, a journalist backed by Rick Santorum and Phyllis Schlafly; and Dean Young, a real estate developer who ran in the 2012 primary. (Here’s a sample ballot.)
In the 2012 primary, Mobile County accounted for 53 percent of the Republican vote in the district, followed by Baldwin County, located east of Mobile, at 39 percent. The district includes all or part of four other counties that are more sparsely populated.
Republican Mitt Romney took 62 percent of the district vote in the 2012 presidential election, so the Republican nominee will be a heavy favorite to succeed Republican Jo Bonner, who resigned last month to take a university job.
Two little-known Democrats, Lula Albert-Kaigler and Burton R. Leflore, are seeking the seat.