Wes Allen Wins GOP Nomination for Alabama Secretary of State

Wes Allen Wins GOP Nomination for Alabama Secretary of State Wes Allen Wins GOP Nomination for Alabama Secretary of State (Dreamstime)

JAY REEVES Tuesday, 21 June 2022 11:03 PM

Voters selected the Republican nominee for Alabama's top election official Tuesday, and four other statewide races plus a U.S. House nomination were on the ballot. Here is a look at the races:


State Rep. Wes Allen won the Republican nomination for secretary of state on Tuesday in runoff that featured both candidates promoting the need to tighten election security in harmony with former President Donald Trump’s claims that he lost the 2020 presidential race because of fraud.

Allen defeated outgoing State Auditor Jim Zeigler and will face Democrat Pamela J. Laffitte, an Air Force veteran and corrections supervisor in Mobile County, in the general election to become Alabama’s top election official.

Zeigler received the most votes among four candidates in the primary election in May, but Allen overcame the deficit.

Allen, from Troy, previously served as probate judge in Pike County. Citing the potential for fraud, he opposed early voting and no-excuse absentee balloting and sponsored a law that barred “curbside” voting meant in part to make it easier for people with disabilities to cast a ballot.

During the campaign, Zeigler dubbed himself a “watchman” against ballot fraud, so-called “ballot harvesting” and voting by mail. Trump has blamed all those things and more for his loss to Democratic President Joe Biden.

The current secretary of state, Republican John Merrill, couldn’t run again because of term limits, and the GOP nominee will be a heavy favorite to win in November.


Either Yolanda Rochelle Flowers or state Sen. Malika Sanders Fortier will become the first Black person to win a major party's gubernatorial nomination in Alabama in the Democratic runoff for governor.

Flowers, a career educator from Birmingham, narrowly led a six-person field in the May primary. She ran on a platform of “reconstructing” Alabama by rebuilding its economy and systems for education, health care and criminal justice, Among other things, she advocated for a state lottery and a state minimum wage of $15.

Fortier, a state lawmaker from Selma, campaigned on the theme of building the biblical “beloved community” promoted by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. by improving the state’s economy, schools and health care. She is the daughter of former state Sen. Hank Sanders and attorney Faya Rose Toure.

The eventual winner face Gov. Kay Ivey, who vanquished eight challengers to win the GOP primary without a runoff. Nearly four times as many people voted in the Republican primary as the Democratic primary in May, and Republicans hold every statewide office.


Stan Cooke and Andrew Sorrell are vying for the Republican nomination to succeed state auditor Zeigler.

Cooke, a pastor from the Jefferson County town of Kimberly, claims Alabama is at a crossroads where it could remain a conservative state or come under the control of liberal Democrats. Echoing former President Donald Trump’s claims of election theft, he is highlighting the auditor’s role in appointing county election officials who can prevent Democrats from stealing elections.

Sorrell, a state representative from Colbert County who led balloting in the May primary, also tried to make election security a prime issue, saying a strong auditor is needed to appoint county registrars who will keep voter rolls clean.

The eventual nominee will not have a Democratic opponent in the fall.


Madison County Commission chair Dale Strong won the only runoff among the state’s seven U.S. House seats, claiming the Republican nomination for an open position in north Alabama’s 5th District.

Strong defeated Casey Wardynski, a former Huntsville school superintendent. Strong handily led a six-candidate field with about 45% of the primary vote in May but couldn’t avoid a runoff.

Strong will face Democrat Kathy Warner-Stanton of Decatur in the mostly Republican Tennessee Valley district in November.

The seat was given up by U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, who was in a runoff with former business lobby leader Katie Britt for the seat being vacated by U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby.


Two Republican incumbents on the Alabama Public Service Commission face runoff challenges to keep their jobs on the utility-regulating board.

Jeremy Oden, a former state legislator from Cullman seeking his third term on the three-member commission, cast himself as a conservative bulwark against liberal environmental policies. He received the most votes in May in a four-way race for the Place 1 seat that saw attorney Brent Woodall, a PSC staffer and Republican activist, come in second.

First elected to the PSC in 2014, former Greene County Commissioner Chip Beeker also portrayed himself as an opponent of Democratic environmental policies in his campaign to retain the Place 2 seat. Beeker, who led the primary vote, is opposed by Robert L. McCollum, a small business owner from Tallapoosa County who contends the commission is too close to Alabama Power Co.

No Democrat qualified for either position, making a victory in the Republican runoff tantamount to election.

Original Article