Dick Brewbaker advances to a Republican primary runoff in Alabama's 2nd Congressional District

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Dick Brewbaker has advanced to Republican primary runoff in Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District. It is too soon to call the other spot in the runoff.

The top two finishers in Tuesday’s Republican primary will advance to an April 16 primary runoff. A runoff is required unless one candidate captures more than 50% of the primary vote.

The winner will face the Democratic nominee in November.

Democrats are hoping to flip the seat after the district was redrawn by a federal court to boost the voting power of Black residents. Republicans are hoping to keep the seat under GOP control.

The outcome of the November election, with control of the U.S. House of Representatives on the line, will be closely watched.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The top two finishers in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for Alabama’s redrawn 2nd Congressional District were Shomari Figures and Anthony Daniels, who will advance to a runoff after no candidate in the crowded field captured more than 50% of the primary vote.

Daniels is the minority leader in the Alabama House of Representatives. Figures served as deputy chief of staff to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland. They will meet again in an April 16 runoff, and the winner will face the Republican nominee in November.

Democrats see an opportunity to flip the Deep South congressional seat in November. Republicans aim to keep hold of the seat, as control of the U.S. House of Representatives is on the line. A total of 18 candidates — 11 Democrats and seven Republicans — are running in the new district.

The revamped 2nd Congressional District, which stretches from Mobile through Montgomery to the Georgia border, is being viewed as a once−in−a generation opportunity for Democrats in a state where Republicans dominate.

The contest is one of two heated congressional primaries in the state on Super Tuesday. In the 1st Congressional District, two Republican congressmen — Rep. Jerry Carl and Rep. Barry Moore — are facing off in a primary showdown that will end with one of them leaving office next year.

A federal court in November drew new congressional lines after ruling Alabama had illegally diluted the voting strength of Black residents. The three−judge panel said Alabama, which is 27% Black, should have a second district where Black voters make up a substantial portion of the voting age population and have a reasonable opportunity to elect a candidate of their choice.

The large number of people competing in the 2nd Congressional District made it likely that the race will go to a runoff.

In addition to Figures and Daniels, candidates included state Rep. Napoleon Bracy, Jr. of Prichard; state Sen. Merika Coleman of Pleasant Grove; state Rep. Juandalynn Givan of Birmingham and state Rep. Jeremy Gray of Opelika.

Also running are former U.S. Marine James Averhart, education consultant Phyllis Harvey−Hall, retired businessman Willie J. Lenard, businessman Vimal Patel and Larry Darnell Simpson.

The eight Republicans who have qualified to run are: state Sen. Greg Albritton of Atmore; former state Sen. Dick Brewbaker of Pike Road; attorney Caroleene Dobson; business owner Karla M. DuPriest; real estate agent Hampton Harris; Stacey T. Shepperson of Saraland; and Newton City Council member Belinda Thomas.

The shifting district lines have led to an unusual competition in the GOP primary for south Alabama’s 1st Congressional District.

Moore challenged Carl, the incumbent in the 1st Congressional District after being drawn out of the 2nd Congressional District, which he currently represents.

The two Republicans and their supporters have traded accusations over voting records, late tax payments and loyalty to former President Donald Trump.

Both are in their second terms in Congress after being elected in 2020 to their respective districts. Moore is a former member of the Alabama Legislature. Carl served as president of the Mobile County Commission.

The winner will face Democrat Tom Holmes in November.

The Associated Press

Photo: AP