Alabama primary winners prep for general election

State Reps. Bandy, Vance, among primary victors

benw@ledger-enquirer.comJune 4, 2014 

Campaigning is over for the Circuit Court judge's race, but contests continue for many after the Alabama Primary Tuesday.

"We are done," District Court Judge David Johnson, said Wednesday, the day after winning the seat currently held by his father, Al Johnson, who is retiring.

In complete but unofficial totals from all precincts, the younger Johnson received 61.6 percent of the vote, beating April Lancaster Logan-Russell by a margin of 1,533 votes to 956. Johnson is a Democrat, and there is no Republican opposition for the seat.

Johnson said his father's term ends in early January and he will continue to serve as District Court judge until that time.

State Rep. George "Tootie" Bandy, Dolores Elias McTier Allen, state Rep. Lesley Vance and state Sen. Tom Whatley won in primary elections on Tuesday. Most will hit the campaign trail to prepare for the Nov. 4 general election.

Bandy, a five-term incumbent Democrat, won the District 83 primary with 62 percent of the vote, defeating Russell County Commissioner Ronnie Reed 1,394 votes to 859. Bandy faces Republican Gary Head in the general election.

Allen, a Democrat, won the primary for the at-large seat on the Russell County Board of Education in a landslide over Tim Simpson with 73 percent of the vote, garnering 1,088 votes to Simpsons's 404.

She faces Republican Amy Atkins in the general election.

Vance, a Republican, avoided a runoff in a three-candidate race with 64 percent of the vote and 1,310 votes in the District 80 race, while challengers Alex Balkcum had 377 votes (18 percent) and Mervin Dudley collected 351 votes (17 percent).

Vance will face Russell County Commissioner Tillman Pugh, a Democrat, in the general election.

In the District 27 race, Sen. Tom Whatley took 53 percent of the vote, defeating challenger Andy Carter, a retired Air Force pilot, by a margin of 7.922 votes to 6,891.

Turnout in Russell County was about 20 percent with 4,267 votes cast in the local election.

Statewide, the turnout of nearly 22 percent was much lower than four years ago, when both political parties had hot races for governor, and the turnout was 32 percent.

The races for governor Tuesday were lopsided, with Republican incumbent Robert Bentley and Democrat Parker Griffith winning easily.

Secretary of State Jim Bennett had predicted a turnout of 25 to 27 percent, but he said it became clear early in the day that the turnout was going to be lighter.

Bennett is predicting the turnout for the runoff election July 15 will be much smaller because few races required runoffs.

VOTE TALLY

Democratic Primary — Circuit Court Judge

• David Johnson: 1,533 (61.6 percent)

• April Lancaster Logan-Russell: 956 (38.4 percent)

Democratic Primary — State Representative, District 83

• George "Tootie" Bandy: 1,394 (62 percent)

• Ronnie Reed: 859 (38 percent)

Republican Primary — State Representative, District 80

• Alex Balkcum: 377 (18 percent)

• Mervin Dudley: 351 (17 percent)

• Lesley Vance: 1,310 (64 percent)

Republic Primary — State Senate, District 27

• Tom Whatley: 7,922 (53 percent)

• Andy Carter: 6,891 (47 percent)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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