Alabama voters have approved a constitutional amendment that provides specific protection to anyone who kills someone in self-defense in a church in Franklin County.
The attorney general’s office has said Alabama’s “stand your ground” law already applies inside churches. But backers supported Amendment 5, saying more specific provisions for churches in the northwest part of the state.
A similar amendment affecting Lauderdale County also was approved.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’S EARLIER STORY FOLLOWS BELOW.
Republicans extended their White House winning streak in Alabama as President Donald Trump carried the state against Democrat Joe Biden and claimed nine electoral votes.
The GOP has won Alabama in every presidential election since 1976, when Jimmy Carter from neighboring Georgia was on the ballot. The outcome was hardly in doubt this year given Republicans hold every statewide office but one, as well as large majorities in both houses of the Legislature.
While issues including impeachment and the coronavirus pandemic threatened Trump nationally, none of that mattered in Alabama, which Trump carried handily in 2016 against Hillary Clinton. Some Republican candidates campaigned on little more than supporting Trump for a second term.
The state Democratic Party was better organized this election than in 2016, and the former vice president visited Selma before the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of his campaign for months, but Biden couldn’t close a gap that has taken on historical proportions in Alabama.
Former college football coach Tommy Tuberville recaptured a U.S. Senate seat for Republicans by defeating Sen. Doug Jones in Alabama on Tuesday.
Jones was widely considered the Senate’s most endangered Democrat as Republicans made retaking the once reliably conservative seat a priority in the 2020 election.
Tuberville has never held public office and last coached four years ago. He aligned himself closely with President Donald Trump and declared in the primary campaign that “God sent us Donald Trump.”
Republicans hammered Jones over his vote to convict Trump in the Senate impeachment trial earlier this year.
Two Republican newcomers won U.S. House seats over Democrats, and two GOP incumbents were easily reelected to Congress.
Republicans will maintain control of the congressional seat representing southwest Alabama after business owner and Mobile County Commission chairman Jerry Carl defeated Democrat James Averhart. Carl will take over the position now held by Bradley Byrne, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for Senate.
GOP nominee Barry Moore defeated Democrat Phyllis Harvey-Hall to win the U.S. House seat held by Rep. Martha Roby and keep the southeastern Alabama district in Republican hands. Moore, of Enterprise, is a former state representative and business owner, while Harvey-Hall is an educator. Roby did not seek reelection.
Rep. Mike Rogers of Saks won a 10th term in east Alabama’s 3rd District against Democrat Adia Winfrey, while Rep. Robert Aderholt of Haleyville captured a 13th term in office against Democrat Rick Neighbors in the 4th District, which includes much of north Alabama.
Reps. Mo Brooks of Huntsville; Gary Palmer of Hoover; and Terri Sewell of Selma were unopposed in the general election.
State voters approved at least five of six statewide constitutional amendments that were on the ballot.
Alabama voters have approved Amendment 1, a mostly symbolic measure pushed by Republicans that said only U.S. citizens have the right to vote, which already is the law nationally. The Alabama Constitution currently states that every male citizen can vote, although the 19th amendment provided women’s suffrage in 1920.
Voters also approved Amendment 4, a ballot measure that would remove racist language from the 1901 state constitution, which was passed to ensure white supremacy. The proposal allows a recompilation of the constitution to remove wording that prohibited mixed-race marriage and mandated racially segregated schools. While no longer in effect, supporters of the amendment say the prohibitions are an embarrassment and should be removed.
Amendment 3, which would extend the amount of time appointed district and circuit judges can serve, won approval. Currently, judges appointed by the governor serve an initial term of one year or the remainder of the original term, whichever is longer. An appointed judge can serve at least two years before they must run for election under the change.
Amendments 6 was approved by voters, providing specific protection to anyone who kills someone in self-defense in a church in Lauderdale County. The outcome of a nearly identical measure involving Franklin County, Amendment 5, was unclear. Alabama’s “stand your ground” law already applies inside churches, the attorney general’s office has said, but backers supported more specific provisions for churches in the northwest part of the state.
The outcome wasn’t clear for Amendment 2, which would allow the full Alabama Supreme Court to appoint the director of the state’s court system, a task now performed solely by the chief justice, and make other changes to the judicial system. Amendment 3 would extend the amount of time that appointed district and circuit judges can serve.
Republican Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh won a third term as president of the utility-regulating Alabama Public Service Commission by defeating Democrat Laura Casey. Cavanaugh was the first woman to serve as chair of the Alabama Republican Party and has closely aligned herself with Trump.
Casey contended the three-member PSC, all Republicans, is more interested in protecting the state’s largest electrical utility, Alabama Power Co., than consumers. She recently lost an appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court, which rejected her right to videotape a hearing held before the PSC about solar energy fees.
STATE SCHOOL BOARD
The ballot included three contested seats on the Alabama State Board of Education.
Republican Jackie Zeigler won the District 1 race for State School Board in southwest Alabama, defeating Democratic nominee Tom Holmes. Zeigler, who is the vice president of the board, is a retired principal. Holmes is a retired state employee who also led a disabilities advocacy program.
Republican Stephanie Bell touted her experience supporting educational programs, including the Alabama Reading Initiative, as she captured an eighth term representing the 3rd District of central Alabama. She defeated Jarralynne Agee, provost and vice president of academic affairs at Miles College in Birmingham.
Democrat Tonya Smith Chestnut has defeated Republican Lesa Keith for the 5th District seat representing much of Alabama’s Black Belt region on the state school board. Chestnut is a retired educator while Keith serves on the Montgomery school board and works as a real estate broker. The position is now held by appointee Tommie Stewart.
Find AP’s full election coverage at APNews.com/Election2020.