Gary Palmer won the Republican runoff in the Sixth Congressional district Tuesday night, all but assuring he will be the next Congressman in the heavily GOP district. Palmer rolled up 64-percent of the vote to Paul DeMarco's 36-percent. Palmer waged a come-from-behind victory against DeMarco, who was the top vote-getter in the June 3 primary.
Appearing before supporters at his victory party, Palmer referenced the negative tone in the runoff race. "Good people can run for office, they can weather whatever's thrown at them, they do not have to get down, and do what people expect you to do, and go negative," Palmer said. "You do not have to become the kind of people that you don't like."
At his election night party, DeMarco expressed disappointment, but wished Palmer well. He joked that his immediate future involves cutting the grass. DeMarco said he looked forward to spending time with his wife Jacqueline and newborn son, Jack.
In House District 43, Arnold Mooney narrowly won the GOP runoff to succeed retiring state Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin (R-Indian Springs). In Senate District 17, Shay Shelnutt won a close contest to take the seat being vacated by state Sen. Scott Beason (R-Gardendale). In Democratic runoffs for Jefferson County Commission, incumbent George Bowman defeated former state Rep. Early Hilliard Jr. Incumbent Sandra Little Brown declared victory over former commissioner Shelia Smoot, with a margin of just 31 votes. Smoot refused to concede, saying there were still outstanding absentee and provisional ballots. But the Chairman of the Jefferson County Board of Registrars, Barry Stephenson, said the absentees had all been counted, and doubted the provisional ballots would change the outcome.