Cullman County Republican Party Chair Ken Brown is blaming Democratic crossover voting for several upset victories in primary runoff elections. Of eight candidates in runoff races, only one held on to her first place finish and won the runoff. In the seven other races, the second place finishers in the primary surged ahead to win the runoff.
One race was a particular surprise. A school board candidate almost won the primary outright with 49% of the vote. But that tiny deficit forced Gene Sullins into a runoff and he won by 164 votes.
Turnout was abysmally low in the runoff – 18% compared to the 42% who voted in the primary. So it seems odd that Brown blames Democrats for the results:
According to Cullman County Republican party chair Ken Brown, Democratic crossover voting played a significant role in switching the order in which his most of his party’s candidates finished Tuesday.
“Unfortunately, tonight’s results do reflect the ability of local Democrats to crossover vote in our Republican election process and affect the outcome in some races,” said Brown.
“We hope to remedy this before the next primary election in 2014, by having Alabama join more than 20 other states in moving to voter registration by party, and closed primaries. Then, Democrats will be free to pick their own nominees — and we will be free to choose ours without interference.”
Instead of blaming crossover Democrats, perhaps Brown should wonder about the effectiveness of candidates who can't motivate their voters to head to the polls.
I know there are at least a couple of LIA folks who are familiar with Cullman County politics…. would love to have your comments!
And everyone else… what do you think about party registration and closed primaries?