July 15, 2014
By Jeff Helms
MONTGOMERY, Ala., July 15 — Cotton farmers and Alabama Farmers Federation-endorsed candidates claimed major victories Tuesday night in primary runoff elections.
Voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment giving cotton farmers the opportunity to vote on changes to their research and promotion program. In addition, nine of nine statewide and legislative candidates endorsed by FarmPAC, the Federation’s political action committee, won their races.
“In a low-turnout election, Federation members and voters who share our values made the difference in races across the state,” said Federation President Jimmy Parnell. “Tonight’s results show the strength of a true grassroots organization that supports candidates who understand the issues affecting Alabama families.”
The Federation swept statewide races with John Merrill winning the Republican nomination for Secretary of State; Jim Zeigler claiming victory in the Republican race for State Auditor; and Greene County farmer Chip Beeker defeating incumbent Terry Dunn in the Republican race for Public Service Commission Place 2.
FarmPAC candidates also won six of six legislative races. Republican Senate candidates Tim Melson (SD 1), Shay Shelnutt (SD 17), Greg Albritton (SD 22) and Clyde Chambliss (SD 30) earned their party’s nomination. Republican House of Representatives candidate Arnold Mooney won in HD 43 and Rep. Ralph Howard, D-Greensboro, was re-elected in HD 72.
In Congressional District 6, Federation-endorsed candidate Paul DeMarco lost to Alabama Policy Institute co-founder Gary Palmer.
“We congratulate Gary on a decisive victory and look forward to working with him in Congress,” said Federation Executive Director Paul Pinyan.
Tonight’s victories guaranteed election for Beeker, Shelnutt, Mooney and Howard. Merrill, Zeigler, Melson, Albritton and Chambliss face opposition in the Nov. 4 general election.