Campaign Updates

Bradley Byrne cruises again, wins first full, two-year term in Congress

Posted on November 6th, 2014


MOIBLE, Alabama – U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne enjoyed a no-sweat night Tuesday in winning a full, two-year term in Congress.

The Associated Press declared Byrne, 59, the winner a little after 8:30 p.m. over Democratic challenger Burton LeFlore. The Fairhope Republican will take his oath of office for a new term, the first week of January. The1st Congressional District takes in Mobile and Baldwin counties, along with Escambia, Monroe, Washington and part of Clarke County. The job pays $174,000 a year.

Joined on stage at Moe’s Original Bar B Q by his family – including his new baby grandson – Byrne noted the contrast with last year’s hard-fought special election.

“It’s a lot different from last year, isn’t it?” he said. “This is the fourth election we’ve been through in the last 14 months. … Obviously, you don’t take anything for granted, and we didn’t take this for granted. But this was a fun campaign.”

LeFlore challenged Byrne for a second time in as many years, but this time, he had less money and was facing an incumbent. He expressed disappointment that the district would not have a voice on issues like health care, voting rights and job creations.

“I think with so many important issues on the table … the outlook is not very optimistic at this time,” he said.

Byrne vowed to continue to make the district and the country “a stronger and better place to live.” He also said he would not take a lot of time to savor Tuesday’s victory. Come 9 a.m. Wednesday, he said, he would be at Perdido Elementary School in Baldwin County.

“And we will be right back to work,” he said.

Byrne, whose past political jobs have included member of the state Board of Education, state senator representing part of Baldwin County and chancellor of the state’s two-year college system, entered a crowded Republican field as the early favorite in a special election for Congress last year.

Byrne finished first and then held off a feverish bid from conservative activist Dean Young in the runoff in November. Since January, Byrne has been finishing the unexpired term of Jo Bonner, who triggered last year’s special election by stepping down to take a job as vice chancellor of the University of Alabama System.

Only partial results were available early Tuesday evening, but Byrne appeared to be putting up margins of victory similar to the ones he posted in December.

In an interview, he said he will continue to push the same agenda he has since taking office. That includes promoting the construction of a new bridge over Interstate 10 and changing the rules governing red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico. Byrne and other critics contend the current rules improperly undercount the population, which results in artificially short seasons.

Byrne’s bill is pending in committee. He said he is confident it will become law, particularly if Republicans win enough seats to seize control of the Senate.

On national issues, Byrne called on his party to try to finds areas where the Republicans in Congress can work with President Barack Obama. Possible areas of consensus include tax reform, free trade and immigration.

He repeated his call to pass immigration reform in pieces, starting with noncontroversial items on which Congress and the president agree and leaving thornier provisions for another day.