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John Wahl says that Democrats "got lucky" on Tuesday in their blowout win in Alabama House District 10 special election

On Wednesday, Alabama Republican Party Chairman John Wahl said that Democrats "got lucky" in their blowout win in Alabama House District 10 special election. Wahl blamed the candidate and his team for their lackluster performance in which only 14% of voters bothered to even show up.

"National Democrats are trying to insinuate that House District 10 is a bellwether decision, not just for Alabama but also for the entire country," Chairman Wahl said in a statement. "What they forget to say is that this is a purple district where Democrats always had a chance. Pretending that this election reflects on the entire state of Alabama is disingenuous and shows either a lack of understanding of the political landscape or an attempt to mislead voters."

"Low turnout special elections are hard to predict, and notorious for unexpected outcomes," Wahl continued. "Results in these types of races are about which candidate is able to excite their base. There are a lot of opinions on what messaging is best in this type of situation, and the Republican candidate chose a middle of the road strategy in an attempt to bring in swing voters. That was the candidate's decision and we respected it, though unfortunately it did not have the desired outcome of turning out Republican voters. It's important to remember that only 14.5% of the population voted in this special election, and that is extremely low turnout when compared to a regular general election. Democrats got lucky yesterday, and the Alabama Republican Party is committed to taking this seat back in 2026."

"The Alabama Republican Party has been extremely successful in swing districts across the state in recent years," Wahl added. "Our strategy has been highlighting bold, Conservative messaging that pushes back on the national Democrat Party's flawed policies and woke, socialist agenda. The GOP picked up 50 seats across Alabama in 2022 with this bold messaging. We talked about parental rights in education, protecting our children from indoctrination, and the fact we can tell the difference between a man and a woman. Republicans across the country did not fare as well as Republicans here in Alabama, and the lesson is we cannot not be afraid to stand strong for Conservative values. Republicans win when we talk about policy and the principles we believe in."

Only 5,965 voters cast ballots in the special election to fill the seat that was previously held by Republican Rep. David Cole (R-Madison). Cole pled guilty to voter fraud for voting in a precinct in which he did not actually reside and resigned last year creating the vacancy.

Marilyn Lands received 3,715 votes (62.31%) to Powell's 2,236 (37.50%).

Lands was endorsed by former U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-Alabama) and former State Rep. Mike Ball (R-Madison) who had held this seat for a decade. Lands had been Ball's campaign manager.

"Alabama women have spoken-thank you District 10!!" Lands said on the social media platform X.

"Today, Alabama women and families sent a clear message that will be heard in Montgomery and across the nation," Lands said in a statement. "Our legislature must repeal Alabama's no-exceptions abortion ban, fully restore access to IVF, and protect the right to contraception."

"Seat Flipped! Marilyn Lands is our new Democratic Representative for House District 10!" the Alabama Democratic Party said in a statement on social media. "Congratulations Marilyn for Alabama! This is a victory for Democrats in Alabama and for women's right to choose! The Tide is Turning! #RoeRoeRoeandVote."

The Republican candidate, Madison City Councilman Teddy Powell ran a lot of really odd television commercials that featured him in blue jeans playing in his yard with his dog and inexplicably wandering around a hay field or making fun of himself being unable to remember his lines in the commercial. He said next to nothing about being pro-life, pro-second amendment, pro-Trump, fighting woke initiatives in the schools, or being a small government conservative and even less about what he would do for the district. His views on gambling, DEI, improving workforce participation, banning ballot harvesting, improving school choice opportunities, cutting grocery taxes, etc. (all issues before the Alabama Legislature) were areas his campaign never emphasized.

There was no Republican primary to battle test Powell's messaging or to make certain that he had any popular support before promoting him on to the general election. Only 2,236 Republicans voted for Powell. 7,581 voted in 2022 for Cole – thus 5,345 fewer Republicans voted in the special election than voted in the general election 16 months earlier. Lands on the other hand received 6,608 votes in 2022 when she lost to Cole. She received only 3,715 votes on Tuesday. That is just 56.2% of the Democratic voters that she had previously; but that was a far better performance than the Powell team could garner where 70.5% of 2022 Republican voters stayed home in the special election.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email brandonmreporter@gmail.com

 

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