Ivey wins full term as Alabama governor


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    The Latest on Election Day in Alabama (all times local):

    10:19 p.m.

    Voters have re-elected Republican Secretary of State John Merrill to a second term as Alabama's top elections and record-keeping official.

    Merrill defeated Democratic challenger and political newcomer Heather Milam. The former bank executive and school system spokesman was elected secretary of state in 2014 after serving in the Alabama House.

    Merrill touted his record on both voter registration and implementing the state's photo voter identification requirement. The message resonated with voters in a state dominated by conservative Republicans.

    Milam comes from a background in publishing that includes being founder and general manager of Weld, a free community newspaper in Birmingham. She ran as a champion of voting rights, saying she supports measures to make it easier to vote such as automatic voter registration and early voting.

    10:11 p.m.

    Republican Alabama Supreme Court Associate Justice Tom Parker has turned back a Democratic challenger to be elected chief justice of the state's highest court.

    Parker will take over the position previously held by mentor Roy Moore now that he's defeated Democratic nominee Bob Vance Jr.

    Parker was elected to the Supreme Court in 2004. His campaign appealed to social conservatives and emphasized his hope of one day overturning U.S. Supreme Court decisions such as the one that legalized abortion.

    Vance is a circuit judge in Jefferson County. He was endorsed by six former chief justices, including three Republicans, but couldn't pull off a win in a state where Republicans hold an overwhelming majority.

    The chief justice serves on the nine-member Supreme Court and also oversees the state's judicial system.

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    10:08 p.m.

    A Birmingham attorney long active in Republican politics has won a seat on the Alabama Supreme Court.

    Jay Mitchell defeated Democrat Donna Wesson Smalley for the Place 4 position on the nine-member court.

    Mitchell lives in Homewood and is a partner with a prominent Birmingham law firm. He says he has handled numerous cases at both the trial and appellate levels. He also served on the state GOP executive committee and helped found a Republican club in Birmingham.

    Smalley is an attorney in Jasper who specializes in family law and personal injury representation. She touted her four decades of experience as a practicing lawyer in seeking the state's highest appellate court.

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    10:05 p.m.

    Voters decided three races for the Alabama State Board of Education.

    In District 2, Auburn City School Board President Tracie West defeated Democrat Adam Jortner, who teaches history at Auburn University. District 4 Democratic incumbent Yvette Richardson, a veteran educator from Fairfield, overcame a challenge by Republican Don Wallace, an accountant and former Tuscaloosa County commissioner from Northport.

    In the District 8 race, retired educator Wayne Reynolds of Athens defeated Democratic school volunteer Jessica Fortune Barker of Huntsville.

    9:58 p.m.

    Alabama voters have re-elected Republican State Auditor Jim Zeigler to a second term in office.

    Zeigler outdistanced Democratic nominee Miranda Joseph, an internal auditor making her second run for the office.

    Zeigler portrayed himself as a conservative who fights waste and corruption in government.

    While the state auditor typically keeps up with state property and cash, Zeigler has tried to expand the profile of the office by taking actions that include being an outspoken critic of former Gov. Robert Bentley.

    Zeigler previously was a lawyer, but he gave up his law license earlier this year.

    Joseph told voters the state needs a trained auditor to hold the job of state auditor. She promised to improve the accountability of how the state uses its resources.

    Joseph unsuccessfully challenged Zeigler four years ago.

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    9:57 p.m.

    Republican Jeremy Oden has been re-elected to the utility-regulating Alabama Public Service Commission.

    Oden defeated Democratic newcomer Cara McClure to win his second term in the Place 1 position on the three-member agency.

    Oden previously served in the Alabama House but was appointed to the PSC by then-Gov. Robert Bentley in 2012. The former business owner and bank manager also is an ordained minister.

    Oden says he spent part of his campaign trying to educate voters about what Public Service Commission does.

    McClure campaigned on the idea that the Public Service Commission needs more transparency as it oversees state utilities. She charged that members spend too much of their time raising money for re-election and don't concentrate enough on helping average people.

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    9:56 p.m.

    Chris "Chip" Beeker has won a second term on the utility-regulating Alabama Public Service Commission.

    Beeker defeated Democratic challenger Kari Powell for the Place 2 seat on the three-member panel.

    Beeker won his first four-year term on the PSC in 2014 after serving on the Green County Commission for two decades. He advocates using a mix of energy resources that includes coal despite the growth of less-expensive natural gas as a fuel.

    Powell campaigned on lowering utility bills and criticized the profit margins the PSC has approved for state utilities. She also advocates increasing the use of solar energy in Alabama.

    Powell is a freelance graphic designer from suburban Birmingham. Beeker owns a catfish and cattle farm in west Alabama.

    9:54 p.m.

    Alabama voters have decided to add language to the state's 1901 constitution saying the state recognizes the rights of unborn children.

    Voters in the overwhelmingly conservative state approved a proposed constitutional amendment supported by abortion opponents in balloting Tuesday.

    The measure doesn't affect access to abortion unless the U.S. Supreme Court decides to overturn Roe v. Wade, the decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

    Rick Renshaw of the Alliance for a Pro-Life Alabama calls the amendment a policy declaration for voters to show they believe in protecting the rights and lives of "unborn babies."

    Opponents argue the broad wording would position the state to ban abortion if Roe is overturned.

    9:46 p.m.

    Republican state Rep. Will Ainsworth has defeated Democrat Will Boyd in the race to fill the vacant office of Alabama lieutenant governor.

    Ainsworth was first elected to the Alabama House four years ago. The North Alabama resident billed himself as a Christian conservative who will set a higher ethical standard at a Statehouse tainted by repeated scandals.

    Will Boyd is a minister from Florence. He has made several unsuccessful bids for public office, including last year when he sought the Democratic nomination for the seat now held by Democratic Sen. Doug Jones.

    The lieutenant governor's main job is to preside in the Alabama Senate. The office has been vacant since then-incumbent Kay Ivey became governor in April 2017 following Robert Bentley's resignation.

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    9:44 p.m.

    Republican incumbent Steve Marshall has won a full term as Alabama's attorney general, defeating Democrat Joseph Siegelman.

    Marshall is a former county prosecutor who was appointed as the state's top law enforcement official after Luther Strange was appointed to the U.S. Senate.

    Siegelman is a Birmingham attorney who was making his first bid for public office. He's the 30-year-old son of former Democratic Gov. Don Siegelman, who's out of federal prison after serving time for his conviction in a bribery conspiracy.

    The 53-year-old Marshall has been attorney general since February 2017. That's when then-Gov. Robert Bentley appointed him after naming Strange to the Senate seat previously held by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

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    9:23 p.m.

    Voters in the 1st District of southwestern Alabama have elected Republican Rep. Bradley Byrne to a third full term in office.

    The Fairhope resident defeated Democratic nominee Robert Kennedy Jr. of Mobile in balloting Tuesday.

    Byrne campaigned in part by advocating construction of President Donald Trump's proposed wall on the southern border with Mexico. He says he wants to break a filibuster to gain congressional approval of the plan.

    Byrne also has pushed for issues that are important on the Alabama Gulf Coast, including a proposed Interstate 10 bridge through Mobile that has been discussed for several years.

    Kennedy is a business executive and former naval officer who won the Democratic nomination to oppose Byrne. Despite his name, he's not part of the famous Kennedy clan of American politics.

    9:18 p.m.

    Voters in Alabama have approved a constitutional amendment regarding the display of the Ten Commandments in public schools and government buildings.

    The proposal would allow displays in public schools and government buildings in a way that "complies with constitutional requirements" such as being posted with historical documents.

    Amendment supporters say it will encourage schools and towns to put up copies of the Ten Commandments. Promoter Dean Young says the amendment sends a message that Alabama wants to "acknowledge God."

    Randall Marshall of the ACLU of Alabama says the amendment doesn't change much since the displays have to follow constitutional restrictions.

    8:55 p.m.

    Republican Rep. Martha Roby has gone from surviving a primary scare to winning a fifth term in Congress.

    The one-time Montgomery City Council member defeated Democratic challenger Tabitha Isner to win the District 2 House race in southeast Alabama.

    The victory comes after Roby was pushed into a runoff with Bobby Bright in the GOP primary. Roby fought through lingering fallout from her criticism of then-candidate Donald Trump over his recorded comments suggesting he sexually assaulted women.

    Roby had an easier time during the general election in a district dominated by conservative Republicans. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence helped by endorsing Roby months ago.

    The 37-year-old Isner says she sought office because of the Christian ideal of assisting those in need. It was her first run for public office.

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    8:48 p.m.

    Republican Rep. Mo Brooks of Huntsville has won a fifth term in Congress representing the 5th District Tennessee Valley region of north Alabama.

    Brooks defeated Democratic challenger Peter Joffrion by casting himself as a firm conservative who supports President Donald Trump. Brooks touted the strong economy and shoring up the border, and he portrayed Democrats as a socialist threat to the nation.

    Joffrion is a former city attorney in Huntsville. He hoped to gain support partly through the Democratic Party's larger-than-usual slate of candidates in Alabama, and he talked up issues including health care and a living wage for workers.

    Joffrion raised more money than Brooks' three previous challengers, but the Republican still outdistanced the challenger in both fundraising and campaign spending.

    The 5th District includes Alabama's northernmost counties.

    8:45 p.m.

    Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has been elected to a full term as Alabama governor, defeating Democratic challenger Walt Maddox.

    The 74-year-old Republican defeated Maddox on Tuesday.

    Ivey took over as governor 19 months ago when her predecessor, Robert Bentley, resigned in the fallout of an alleged relationship with a top aide.

    In her bid for office, Ivey emphasized the state's record low unemployment rate and strong economy and campaigned on establishing a state lottery to fund education.

    Ivey was criticized during the campaign for refusing to debate Maddox or her GOP primary challengers.

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    8:39 p.m.

    Republican incumbent Robert Aderholt of Haleyville has won a 12th term in Congress representing the 4th District of north Alabama.

    Aderholt turned back a challenge from Democrat Lee Auman, a camp manager from Union Grove.

    The 53-year-old Aderholt tied himself closely to President Donald Trump, advocating for White House proposals including the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. He's a member of the powerful Appropriations Committee and chairs a subcommittee on agriculture.

    Auman is 25 and was making his first run for public office. He campaigned on addressing the opioid crisis, reducing health care costs, improving education, supporting unions, and other issues.

    Auman's campaign website says he managed an Episcopal church camp in rural north Alabama before leaving to run for Congress.

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    8:36 p.m.

    GOP Rep. Gary Palmer has defeated an early leader of Alabama's craft beer industry to win a third term representing deeply conservative central Alabama in Congress.

    Palmer outdistanced Democrat Danner Kline to retain the District 6 seat, which includes Birmingham's heavily Republican suburbs and more rural areas to the south.

    Palmer was elected in his first run for political office in 2014 after running a conservative advocacy organization, the Alabama Policy Institute, for more than two decades. He advocated increasing religious freedom, decreasing environmental regulation, and working with President Donald Trump to strengthen the military.

    Kline is the founder of Free The Hops, an organization that paved the way for the state's growing craft beer industry by advocating for legislators to revise Prohibition-era laws.

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    8:30 p.m.

    Republican Rep. Mike Rogers has defeated Democrat and former Miss America Mallory Hagan to win a ninth term representing eastern Alabama in Congress.

    Rogers turned back a challenge by Hagan for the District 3 seat on Tuesday in what was the most closely watched of Alabama's congressional races.

    The 60-year-old incumbent from Saks campaigned on maintaining a healthy economy and reducing federal regulations, two themes that resonate with conservative voters who back President Donald Trump. He also talked about supporting the military, tax cuts and replacing the health care law signed by former President Barack Obama.

    The 29-year-old Hagan is from Opelika and was crowned Miss America in 2013. She advocated improvements to programs including education, and she charged that Rogers had lost touch with voters.

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    7:20 a.m.

    Polls are open in Alabama despite overnight storms that forced some schools and offices to push back their start times.

    With only scattered damage and power outages reported statewide, weather forecasters say conditions should improve for voters to be out during the day Tuesday.

    Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. statewide, and some polling places had voters in line when they opened.

    Secretary of State John Merrill says precincts are supposed to open on time even if located in schools where officials delayed classes Tuesday because of the weather.

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    11:52 p.m.

    Republicans have a clear edge in the midterm elections in deeply conservative Alabama, from the governor's office on down. The question is whether Democrats can translate newfound energy into even one win in a statewide or congressional race.

    No Democrat holds statewide office in Montgomery, and Alabama's nine-member delegation to Washington includes seven Republicans.

    But starting with the race between GOP Gov. Kay Ivey and Democratic challenger Walt Maddox, state Democrats are more optimistic than in recent years, partly because they managed to elect Doug Jones as U.S. Senator last year. Opposition to President Donald Trump -- who is hugely popular among Alabama Republicans -- helped bring out new Democratic candidates.

    Here are some of the top races and issues to watch in Alabama on Election Day:

    ATTORNEY GENERAL

    The race to be Alabama's attorney general features an odd dynamic -- the challenger may have better name recognition than the incumbent.

    Republican Attorney General Steve Marshall, an appointee who previously served as a county prosecutor in north Alabama, is being opposed by Democrat Joseph Siegelman, the son one of the best-known names in state politics, former Gov. Don Siegelman.

    Marshall, 53, took over in February 2017 after Luther Strange was appointed to the U.S. Senate. He endured personal tragedy earlier this year when his wife Bridgette took her own life in June just weeks before the Republican runoff.

    Siegelman, 30, is a Birmingham attorney who was making his first bid for public office. While many voters might recognize his name because of his father, they also might attach some unwanted baggage to it. Don Siegelman, Alabama's last Democratic governor, served time in federal prison after being convicted in a bribery conspiracy.

    LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR

    Alabama hasn't even had a lieutenant governor since April 2017, when Kay Ivey was elevated from the position to become governor following Robert Bentley's resignation. That's about to change.

    Republican state Rep. Will Ainsworth and Democrat Will Boyd are vying to become lieutenant governor. The main job of the office is to preside over the state Senate.

    Ainsworth was first elected to the Alabama House four years ago. The North Alabama resident billed himself as Christian conservative who will set a higher ethical standard at a Statehouse tainted by repeated scandals in recent years.

    Boyd is a minister from Florence. He has made several unsuccessful bids for public office, including last year when he sought the Democratic nomination for the seat now held by Jones.

    CONGRESS

    Six contested congressional seats are on the ballot, highlighted by the race for the District 3 office that represents much of eastern Alabama.

    Republican Rep. Mike Rogers of Saks is being challenged by Democrat and former Miss America Mallory Hagan of Opelika as he seeks a ninth term in the solidly GOP district.

    While Hagan has portrayed Rogers as being out of touch with voters after years in Washington, Rogers has cast himself as a solid conservative who supports the president on issues including border security and strengthening the military.

    In other races, GOP Rep. Bradley Byrne of Fairhope is opposed by Democrat Robert Kennedy Jr. of Mobile in District 1, and Republican Rep. Martha Roby of Montgomery is being challenged by Democrat Tabitha Isner in District 2 of southeastern Alabama.

    Eleven-term Republican Rep. Robert Aderholt of Haleyville is on the ballot in District 4 of north central Alabama against Democrat Lee Auman, a camp manager from Union Grove. Democrat Peter Joffrion is attempting to unseat four-term Republican Rep. Mo Brooks of Huntsville in District 5.

    In the 6th District of metro Birmingham, GOP Rep. Gary Palmer is seeking a third term against Democrat Danner Kline, an early leader of Alabama's craft beer industry.

    SUPREME COURT

    The ballot includes two contested races for Alabama Supreme Court, including the top position on the nine-member panel.

    Republican Alabama Supreme Court Associate Justice Tom Parker and Democratic Circuit Judge Bob Vance Jr. of Birmingham are vying for the office of chief justice.

    Parker was elected to the Supreme Court in 2004. His campaign appealed to social conservatives and emphasized his hope of one day overturning U.S. Supreme Court decisions such as the one that legalized abortion.

    Vance was endorsed by six former chief justices, including three Republicans.

    In the other Supreme Court race, Birmingham attorney Jay Mitchell and Jasper attorney Donna Wesson Smalley are both seeking the Place 4 position on the state's highest court.

    CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS

    Constitutional amendments about the hot-button topics of abortion and religion could help drive turnout on Tuesday.

    Voters will decide whether to add anti-abortion language to Alabama's 1901 constitution specifying that the state recognizes the "rights of unborn children." The measure does not impact abortion access unless Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, is reversed.

    The statewide ballot also includes a constitutional amendment regarding the display of the Ten Commandments in public schools and government buildings. The proposal would allow for the display the Old Testament laws in a way that "complies with constitutional requirements" such as being intermingled with historical documents.

    Both issues could help bring GOP voters to the polls given the numbers of Christian conservatives who vote Republican in the state.

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