Early returns are encouraging for Democrat James Fields in the House District 12 special election.
Our man in the field reports that with 10 boxes in (out of 30+), it’s James Fields (D) at 1211 votes and Wayne Willingham (R) at 894.
Update: People on both sides of the aisle tell me it’s going to be a Fields win.
Update (8:05 pm): All quarters agree, Fields wins. One GOP’er said, “Fields won by a significant margin.” Another called it “a landslide.”
Update (8:57 pm): With 32 of 38 boxes counted, the power went out. Totals at that point, according to our man in the field, were Fields at 3021 votes (59.3%), Willingham 2070 votes (40.7%). The final may be slow coming depending on how long the power stays out.
Republican Party Statement on House District 12
Birmingham – “Tonight a Democrat seat stayed the status quo” said Rep. Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) Alabama Republican Party Chairman. “This only strengthens our resolve to end the era of control exerted by the AEA and Paul Hubbert over the Alabama Legislature” Hubbard added.
HD12 Special Democratic Party Press Release
Democratic Chair Joe Turnham Congratulates James Fields on His Incredible Victory in HD 12
Loss Delivers Serious Blow to Riley and Republican 2010 Effort to take Legislature
Cullman, AL – Alabama Democratic Chairman Joe Turnham was on hand in Cullman to share the returns and congratulate Democrat James Fields in his stunning win in Cullman’s special election for House District 12 Tuesday. Turnham noted that Fields’ outstanding record of community service, grassroots campaigning and civic involvement, as well as his solid character as a pastor, marine, retired state employee and servant of the people, inspired persons across political boundaries to vote him into office.
“The people of Cullman County and Alabama won tonight,” said Turnham. “James Fields’ positive message of hope, values and tackling the problems facing the people of District 12 rang true with voters.” Despite massive amounts of money, outside campaigning, negative mail pieces, and phone calls by Republicans, as well as the personal efforts of Party Chair and Rep. Mike Hubbard and Gov. Bob Riley, the voters of Cullman County – democrats, republicans and independents – made their own choice in James Fields.
Turnham said that Fields’ victory delivers a crushing blow to fledgling Alabama Republican efforts by way of their 2010 project to take over the legislature. In this weekend’s Birmingham News, ALGOP Communications Director Philip Bryan was quoted as saying, “It’s a very big race for us because it kind of kicks the year off and will kind of put us in the driver’s seat for the rest of the year and fulfill what we want to do on the way to 2010″. Turnham however retorted “that good candidates like James Fields, who know the people of their district and who inspire what is good and decent in them, will prevail over republican money and outside interference in democratic districts. Tonight’s results have to be devastating to the GOP and to their leadership, including the Governor.” Republicans are now only 1 for 5 in special elections for house seats in the past 34 months, and since 2006 Democratic candidates have won two special house elections decisively by double digits.
“James Fields will wake up tomorrow ready to go to work for all the people of Cullman County,” concluded Turnham.