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Lands beats Powell in House District 10 special election

House Democrats took a seat from Republicans on Tuesday when Democrat Marilyn Lands defeated Republican Teddy Powell in the special election for House District 10 in Madison County.

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.

Lands is a licensed counselor who has worked in mental health for the last twenty years.

Lands relied on a grass roots door knocking campaign that canvassed neighborhoods after neighborhood.

Powell, a two-term city councilman in Madison, relied on a TV campaign that featured him making embarrassing gaffes, wearing jeans out in a field with stacks of hay bales and emphasized his downhome Alabama roots in a district that is increasingly urban, highly educated, well paid, and from places other than Alabama. It was a campaign that seemed more appropriate in rural Lawrence or Fayette Counties not Madison with its heavy concentration of engineers, scientists, and skilled manufacturing workers.

Lands seized on the abortion issue and ran one of the most pro-abortion campaigns ever seen in the state of Alabama. She was endorsed by Planned Parenthood Southeast and the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC). She was also endorsed by the anti-gun Every Town for Gun Safety group for her opposition to Alabama's permitless carry law that passed in 2022 over the objection of gun safety advocates and Alabama sheriffs alike. She was also endorsed by State Representatives Laura Hall (D-Huntsville) and House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville).

Lands previously ran in 2022, but only received 45% of the vote then against Cole.

Lands victory gives the Democrats 28 seats in the Alabama House of Representatives to Republicans' 75. House District 52 in Jefferson County is vacant due to Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham) resignation and guilty plea in a federal corruption probe. If Democrats can hold on to Rogers' seat, then Lands' victory will be a net pick up of one for House Democrats – their strongest position since 2018. House District 27 is also vacant due to Rep. Wes Kitchens' (R-Arab) recent election to the Alabama Senate.

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