Byrne, Young face off Tuesday

Published 9:46pm Tuesday, October 29, 2013

For many observers, the U.S. House District 1 Republican primary comes down to a battle within the party: the traditional conservative versus the Tea Party favorite.

Bradley Byrne, considered a more traditional Republican, will face Dean Young, who is aligned with the Tea Party, in the Tuesday vote.

The race, which has attracted national attention because of the juxtaposition of the candidates, will choose a GOP candidate to face Democrat Burton LeFlore and independent James Hall in December. Because of the makeup of the district, a Republican is largely expected to prevail in the end.

Byrne and Young advanced to the Nov. 5 runoff election by finishing as the top two candidates among nine Republicans in the Sept. 24 primary election. Byrne earned the most votes and won Escambia County.

The winner of the Nov. 5 election will advance to the general election on Dec. 17, where he will face LeFlore and Hall.

This year’s special election was necessary after Jo Bonner resigned from his congressional seat in early August. The seat has been vacant since.

Tuesday’s polls will be open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. Voters must have a form of identification, such as a driver’s license, in order to vote.

Voters should vote at their regular polling locations, which are listed on their county voter registration cards. Any voters who are unsure if they are registered, or have a question about where to vote, can call the Board of Registrars at (251) 867-0243.

The winner of the Dec. 17 special election will complete Bonner’s remaining term, and then immediately face re-election in 2014.

During the Sept. 24 primary election, Byrne was the leading vote getter in the district, finishing with 35 percent. Young was second, with 23 percent. In Escambia County, Byrne earned 45.2 percent of the vote while Young took 24.9 percent.

Byrne, a lawyer and former state senator from Montrose, was previously a Republican candidate for governor. Young, a real estate developer from Orange Beach, ran for U.S. Congress as a Republican in 2012.

Bonner himself and former candidate Quin Hillyer have backed Byrne. Young is backed by Chief Justice Roy Moore — who surprised traditional Republicans by roaring back to victory last year after being ousted from the same post in 2003 in a controversy over a Ten Commandments monument.

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