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7 Things: Britt beats Brooks as primary results are in, gun deal in the U.S. Senate is looking more likely and more …

7. Auburn professor supports the narrative that Democrats swayed Senate District 27 primary

  • In the State Senate District 27 Republican primary election, State Senator Tom Whatley (R-Auburn) has claimed that Democrats crossed party lines to vote in the election and vote for his opponent, Auburn City Councilman Jay Hovey.
  • This narrative has gained traction since an op-ed was published in The New York Times by Auburn University professor of creative writing Anton DiSclafani, who wrote, “I’m a left-leaning Democrat, but on May 24, I voted on the Republican ballot in Alabama’s primary election…Alabama is a deep red state, and I wanted some say in electing the officials who will represent me, because they will almost all certainly be Republican. And have a say I did: Tom Whatley, the state senator for my district, finished behind Jay Hovey by a single vote.”

6. Negative ads are becoming a serious issue

  • U.S. Representative Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) has brought attention to the issue of more negative ads in elections as the primary runoff has ended. Palmer highlighted, “[I]t’s one thing for an opponent to accuse another opponent of something, but it’s totally different when you have outside groups running ads that are totally disingenuous, taking things out of context, and misrepresenting the candidate.”
  • Palmer went on to say, “I think something as serious as electing the people that are going to determine, at least in the short term, the future of the country, the advertising ought to be held to a higher standard.” He added, “I do think that this is something that we need to take up at some point…I think it’s a disservice to the American people to have ads run like this.”

5. Alabama veterans could face death penalty in Russia

  • Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh and Sgt. Alexander Drueke, both men from Alabama and veterans of the U.S. military, could face the death penalty after being captured by Russia in Ukraine. Russian spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the two men were “involved in illegal activities…[and] should be punished.”
  • Peskov went on to say Huynh and Drueke were potentially not protected by the Geneva Convention as prisoners of war, since they were not in Ukraine’s army. Previously, two individuals from Britain in Ukraine and sentenced them to death, but Peskov said he “cannot guarantee anything.” He added, “It depends on the investigation.”

4. Another success for school choice in Maine in a win that will have an impact elsewhere

  • The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a school choice case from Maine, deciding that parents were allowed to select religious schools through the state’s program that allows parents to place their children in private schools with funds from the state.
  • This decision has shown a bit of support to school choice in a broader way, since the court has decided that religious schools can be included. It’s also expected that this could encourage other states to push for more school choice.

3. There were warning signs before the shootings

  • In Jefferson County, it’s been reported that the Vestavia Hills gunman, Robert Findlay Smith, who left three people dead at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church had a three-year record of 911 calls. The sheriff’s office said that they responded to 13 calls at Smith’s house, some of which were a request for patrol at his house, reports of a suspicious person, criminal mischief, medical calls and “investigate complaint.”
  • In Uvalde, Texas, the gunman, Salvador Ramos, responsible for the deaths of 19 children and two adults was allegedly driven by a desire for social media fame before he attacked Robb Elementary School. Texas Department of Public Safety Col. Steve McCraw detailed that Ramos showed disturbing “abhorrent behavior,” such as carrying a bag of dead cats, but none of this behavior was ever reported. McCraw also said, “Some of the statements he made” suggested that he knew he’d have “notoriety on a worldwide basis” after the shooting.

2. Gun legislation agreement could be coming soon

  • In the U.S. Senate, legislation has been introduced with support from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that would encourage states to create “red flag” laws for firearms, expand background checks, provide funding for school resource officers and mental health, and create penalties for gun traffickers. The National Rifle Association opposes this deal, objecting to the red flag law funding.
  • U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) are co-sponsoring the legislation and say that the legislation’s final details have been decided. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that the legislation could be voted on within the week. There could be a hangup on an abortion provision in the bill, supporting the Hyde Amendment, but it won’t likely be the thing that derails the deal if it falls apart.

1. Runoff election results are in

  • In the primary runoff election, U.S. Senate candidate Katie Britt won the Republican nominee for the general election, beating out opponent U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) 63% to 37%. Britt declared that Alabamians were tired of career politicians and she would fight for Christian conservative values. Brooks took a dig at her donors, saying the Democratic Party now had two nominees. Apparently, neither realize the election is over.
  • In the fifth congressional district race, Madison County Commission chairman Dale Strong defeated former Huntsville City Schools superintendent Casey Wardynski 63.4% to 36.4%. State Auditor Jim Zeigler lost the secretary of state race to State Representative Wes Allen (R-Troy) 65.4% to 34.6%. In the state auditor race, State Representative Andrew Sorrell (R-Muscle Shoals) won against Stan Cooke 57.5% to 42.5%. Both Public Service Commission candidates, “Always Totin'” Jeremey Oden and Chip Beeker, secured primary victories, too.