Former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore and GOP Sen. Luther Strange will both advance to a runoff election after neither candidate earned more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary to officially replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions Tuesday.
Moore led Strange, earning 41 percent of the vote in Alabama. Strange wasn’t far behind with 31.9 percent of the vote, and Rep. Mo Brooks earned 19.5 percent of the Republican vote, with 60 percent of the polls reporting as of 10:00 p.m. EST, according to The New York Times.
Although much of the nation’s attention was on the Republican side, the Democratic side of the primary was also exciting. Former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones won a clear victory with 64 percent, and Robert Kennedy Jr. took second place with a small 18.6 percent of the vote. Micheal Hanson and Will Boyd each rounded out the pack with a small amount of support in the race.
Alabama operates under an “open primary” system, which means that anyone can vote in either party primary, but they can only vote in one. Independents are free to choose to vote either in the Democratic or the Republican primary.
Republicans have so far dramatically outspent Democrats. Incumbent Sen. Luther Strange raised $2,524,170 over the course of the campaign, and he left $1,335,844 in cash reserves according to Ballotpedia. Both Brooks and Moore spent a little over $300,000 so far in the race. Democrats were far less prepared on the fiscal front. Jones took the lead with a paltry $160,000. Businessman Jason Fisher was the runner up in fundraising with a very low $15,562.
Jones led the most recent poll, earning 40 percent of the vote in a two-way matchup with Robert Kennedy Jr. On the Republican side, Moore led the polling in nearly every poll. Strange earned a lead in the latest Emerson College poll, narrowly beating the former attorney out 32 percent to 29 percent.
Since no candidate on the Republican side of the ticket earned more than 50 percent of the vote, both Strange and Moore will face off in a scheduled Sept. 26 runoff. The winner of that election will face off against Jones in the general election which is scheduled for Dec. 12, 2017.
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