Results are in: ‘Red Wall’ halts Blue Wave in Madison County midterm elections
MADISON COUNTY — Madison County saw just over half of all its registered voters turn out to make their voices heard in the 2018 midterm elections. Several state and local positions were up for grabs, as well as one race for a seat representing Alabama’s 5th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Nationwide, Democrats and Republicans battled it out for control of the United States House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. By the end of the night, Republicans had maintained and slightly increased their control of the Senate while Democrats seized control of the House of Representatives.
According to data from an Associated Press “VoteCast,” 57 percent of Alabamians say they believe America is on the right track. The nationwide survey included answers from 774 voters and 235 nonvoters in Alabama.
In addition, the data indicated that 61 percent of Alabamians approve of President Donald Trump and 63 percent maintain a positive view of the country’s economic outlook.
Republican U.S. Congressman Mo Brooks, the incumbent representing Alabama’s 5th congressional district, beat out challenger Peter Joffrion with about 61 percent of the overall vote with county votes showing him favored by nearly 53 percent of residents. Both candidates held local watch parties on election night.
“I want to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart for ratifying the work that myself and my office have engaged in for the past eight years on behalf of the Tennessee Valley and also the citizens of the United States of America,” Brooks said onstage with family at the Madison County GOP watch party.
Brooks laid out four main points in the message he will take back to Washington, D.C., to represent the district. He will advocate free enterprise “over socialism,” the Second Amendment, more security and voter identification. In regards to security, Brooks indicated that he is in favor of a border wall and more border security in general. He also discussed his concerns about voter fraud.
“We want elections that are fair and just where everybody who is supposed to be eligible to vote gets the chance to vote, which means we want voter identification,” he explained. “We want to minimize and prevent voter fraud, and we don’t want non-citizens voting in American elections.”
Brooks also called for more national defense and recognized the contributions of programs like NASA.
Though Joffrion didn’t pull out quite enough votes to topple Brooks, he said he remains committed to serving the public.
“I will be devoted to public service whether I win or lose,” he stated before the results.
During his campaign, Joffrion discussed a need for better health care in North Alabama. The AP VoteCast said 20 percent of Alabamians cited health care as their number-one concern, making it the second-most popular issue in the state. That would have been Joffrion’s initial focus if elected.
“People are really concerned about the accessibility of [heath care], the affordability of it—so many people having to work multiple jobs in North Alabama just to make ends meet, and if they have to worry about the rising costs of health care on top of that, then they have to make a choice sometimes between putting food on the table and paying for health care,” he said.
Strong crowds at both watch parties indicated that though Madison County may be a historically red area, its residents still have a diversity of values and opinions on all types of issues facing the county, state and nation.
Huntsville resident Willie Burks voted blue this year, citing programs for the less fortunate and more funding for schools as the issues most important to him.
“There’s so much they could have put toward education, but they just keep spreading it around, and it’s hurting the schools even more because they’re not getting the education, they’re not getting the resources, they’re not getting the perks to all the students that need it,” he said.
Burks added that he had faith in Democrats to put more programs in place to help people rather than hurt them.
Members of the UAH College Republicans attended the GOP watch party and showed their support of all the Republican candidates for the 2018 midterms. Kaleb Nelson, chairman of the campus organization, said he and other members worked to help the candidates in their campaign efforts by making phone calls, stuffing envelopes and hosting the candidates on campus.
“For me, this election’s been important because it’s my first cycle really working in campaigns, and I also think it will judge if we keep America truly great moving forward the next two years leading up to the next election,” Nelson said.
Two campaign workers for Mo Brooks at the watch party said they supported him because he prioritized the issues that are important to them. The AP VoteCast concluded that Alabamians’ top concern is immigration, which Timothy Jackson cited as one of his main concerns, as well as the deficit and debt. Amber Turner said workforce development is important to her, and “just making sure that we are training our existing workforce and our pipeline to where we need them to be.”
Both Jan Hollenbaugh and Elizabeth Dawson, campaign volunteers for Joffrion, sad they believed this midterm election would be a referendum on the last couple years.
“I think it’s time for our government to get to business and stop playing politics, and I think this is going to be a referendum on that,” Dawson said.
Tom Ryan Jr., former chair of the Madison County Democratic Party, urged everyone to get more involved in politics at every level and make an effort to educate themselves on the candidates and issues. At the very least, Ryan said everyone registered to vote should turn out and perform their civic responsibility to vote.
“This is a wakeup call, and the last two years have been a wakeup call to folks that elections have consequences, and if you don’t vote, you don’t become involved, then you don’t have any right to complain, really,” he said. “Politics is not a spectator sport. Voting is not a spectator sport. You’ve got to get out and vote.”
By not voting, Ryan said “things can get taken away from us.”
“You’ve got to work for it, and if you don’t, then our democracy can be taken away from us, and I don’t think we want to live in a country like that,” he added.
The county faced issues earlier in the day with voting machines due in part to humidity in the air causing ballots to swell slightly, Brooks said. When this happens, the machines have a harder time accepting them. As of 1:33 a.m., all 73 precincts in Madison County had reported their results, according to Clarity Elections.
Results of Alabama’s 2018 midterm elections are as follows with winners in bold. The names listed below appeared on Madison County’s ballot. Where there are two percentages listed, the first reflects statewide votes while the second reflects results specific to Madison County:
Kay Ivey (R) – 59.49% | 53.59%
Walt Maddox (D) – 40.36% | 46.24%
Will Ainsworth (R) – 61.29% | 55.11%
Will Boyd (D) – 38.65% | 44.83%
U. S. REPRESENTATIVE, ALABAMA’S 5TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
Mo Brooks (R) – 61.06% | 52.96%
Peter Joffrion (D) – 38.85% | 46.95%
Steve Marshall (R) – 58.82% | 53.54%
Joseph Siegelman (D) – 41.11% | 46.36%
STATE SENATOR, DISTRICT 1
Caroline Self (D) – 32.32% | 54.85%
Tim Melson (R) – 67.63% | 45.08%
STATE SENATOR, DISTRICT 2
Tom Butler (R) – 54.32% | 50.39%
Amy Wasyluka (D) – 45.58% | 49.52%
STATE SENATOR, DISTRICT 3
Arthur Orr (R) – 97.34% | 90.99%
STATE SENATOR, DISTRICT 7
Deborah Barros (D) – 44.68%
Sam Givhan (R) – 55.25%
STATE SENATOR, DISTRICT 8
Steve Livingston (R) – 98.33% | 97.29%
STATE SENATOR, DISTRICT 9
Clay Scofield (R) – 98.57% | 97.12%
STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 6
Andy Whitt (R) – 95.23% | 93.88%
STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 10
J.B. King (D) – 40.77%
Mike Ball (R) – 53.80%
Elijah J. Boyd (LIB) – 5.37%
STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 19
Laura Hall (D) – 97.96%
STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 20
Linda Meigs (D) – 36.82%
Howard Sanderford (R) – 63.12%
STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 21
Terry Jones (D) – 38.61%
Rex Reynolds (R) – 61.34%
STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 22
Ritchie Whorton (R) – 98.3% | 98.17%
STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 25
Mac McCutcheon (R) – 94.92% | 95.02%
STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT 53
Anthony Daniels (D) – 98.46%
CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE ALABAMA SUPREME COURT
Tom Parker (R) – 57.42% | 51.64%
Bob Vance Jr. (D) – 42.52% | 48.29%
ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT, PLACE 1
Sarah Hicks Stewart (R) – 96.8 | 94.89%
ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT, PLACE 2
Tommy Bryan (R) – 96.88% | 95%
ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT, PLACE 3
Will Sellers (R) – 96.6% | 95.12%
ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT, PLACE 4
Jay Mitchell (R) – 60.54% | 53.89%
Donna Wesson Smalley (D) – 39.38% | 46.01%
COURT OF CIVIL APPEALS JUDGE, PLACE 1
Christy Olinger Edwards (R) – 97.02% | 95.25%
COURT OF CIVIL APPEALS JUDGE, PLACE 2
Chad Hanson (R) – 97.03% | 95.24%
COURT OF CIVIL APPEALS JUDGE, PLACE 3
Terry A. Moore (R) – 97.03% | 95.21%
COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS JUDGE, PLACE 1
Richard Minor (R) – 97.06% | 95.36%
COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS JUDGE, PLACE 2
Chris McCool (R) – 97.09% | 95.42%
COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS JUDGE, PLACE 3
Bill Cole (R) – 97.13% | 95.45%
SECRETARY OF STATE
John H. Merrill (R) – 61.05% | 54.56%
Heather Milam (D) – 38.89% | 45.36%
John McMillan (R) – 97.15% | 95.48%
Miranda Karrine Joseph (D) – 39.46% | 45.89%
Jim Zeigler (R) – 60.46% | 54.02%
COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE AND INDUSTRIES
Rick Pate (R) – 97.2% | 95.58%
PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, PLACE 1
Jeremy H. Oden (R) – 60.46% | 53.91%
Cara Y. McClure (D) – 39.48% | 46.02%
PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, PLACE 2
Chris “Chip” Beeker Jr. (R) – 60.09% | 53.27%
Kari Powell (D) – 39.85% | 46.65%
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, DISTRICT 8
Jessica Fortune Barker (D) – 38.86% | 46.03%
Wayne Reynolds (R) – 61.06% | 53.89%
CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE, 23RD JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, PLACE 1
Karen K. Hall (R) – 95.75%
CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE, 23RD JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, PLACE 3
Ruth Ann Hall (R) – 95.74%
CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE, 23RD JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, PLACE 5
Donna S. Pate (R) – 95.75%
CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE, 23RD JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, PLACE 6
Chris Comer (R) – 95.66%
DISTRICT COURT JUDGE, MADISON COUNTY, PLACE 1
Claude E. Hundley III (R) – 95.68%
DISTRICT COURT JUDGE, MADISON COUNTY, PLACE 3
Linda F. Coats (R) – 95.73%
CIRCUIT CLERK, MADISON COUNTY
Debra Kizer (R) – 95.86%
MADISON COUNTY JUDGE OF PROBATE
Michael H. Walker (D) – 44.89%
Frank Barger (R) – 55.03%
MADISON COUNTY SHERIFF
Tim Clardy (D) – 43.39%
Kevin Turner (R) – 56.51%
MADISON COUNTY CORONER
Tyler Berryhill (R) – 96.11%
MADISON COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION SUPERINTENDENT
Matt Massey (R) – 95.91%
MEMBER, MADISON COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION, DISTRICT 1
Nathan Curry (R) – 97.62%
MEMBER, MADISON COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION, DISTRICT 2
Angie Bates (R) – 97.23%
Madison County voted “yes” on all proposed amendments except for statewide amendment no. 2, which concerned whether the state would protect the right to abortion or require the funding of abortion. The amendment passed overall, however, with about 59 percent of Alabama voters being in favor. The full amendment reads: “…to declare that otherwise affirm that it is the public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, most importantly the right to life in all manners and measures appropriate and lawful; and to provide that the constitution of this state does not protect the right to abortion or require the funding of abortion. (Proposed by Act 2017-188)”
At the GOP watch party, District 10 Rep. Mike Ball said he is “glad” to be part of the “Red Wall.”
“I look forward to serving four more years,” he added.
District 20 Rep. Howard Sanderford said he is looking forward to serving with elected Reps. Rex Reynolds, district 21, and Andy Whitt, district 6.
“The Madison County delegation will have an outstanding legislative delegation, in my opinion,” he said.
“I am very humbled by this process,” Whitt said at the event. “For the last several months, my family—we have criss-crossed these counties, and again, thank you for your support. I’m very, very much excited to go to Montgomery.
Reynolds expressed thanks to his family, friends and volunteers, as well as anyone who contributed to his campaign’s success in any way.
“This campaign is a challenge, but we do it because of your enthusiasm, so we appreciate you so much,” he told the crowd.
Results are not made official until several days after the election. For more on the unofficial results, visit sos.alabama.gov.