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Alabama Lt. Governor run-off will likely be close

After Tuesday night’s election, it is still unclear who will represent the Republican party for lieutenant governor in November’s general election. Candidates Twinkle Cavanaugh and Will Ainsworth received the highest percentage of votes, yet both failed to garner more than 50-percent leading Republicans to the polls again on July 17 to pick the party nominee.

Cavanaugh, president of the Public Service Commission, heads into the runoff with a slight lead over Rep. Ainsworth, R-Guntersville.

Of the 541,226 votes for lieutenant governor on Tuesday, Cavanaugh received 234,530, while Ainsworth received 200,368.

Ainsworth told al.com’s Lily Jackson:  “Now that we are in a runoff, I think it is going to give the voters of Alabama the opportunity to really compare and contrast Twinkle and I. When you look at her being in government for over 30 years and the fact that I am from the private sector, built three businesses and created jobs, and she has not; when people look at that, that’s an advantage for us.”

Cavanaugh touted her previous success in Alabama telling Al.com: “The reality is, I have a proven record. I don’t just talk about being a Conservative, I am a Conservative. I don’t just talk about my Christian values, I walk the Christian walk every day.”

“I was honored to earn the majority of the votes tonight, but obviously it wasn’t enough to avoid a runoff, I plan to go back out tomorrow and campaign all across our state in all 67 counties,” Cavanaugh said.

It is clear that Alabama remains mostly undecided on who to choose for this race.

Now that Rusty Glover, who also ran as a Republican, is out of the race, his votes will go to the other candidates. Glover is also a distant cousin to Will Ainsworth, so it will be interesting to see if the majority of those votes are transferred to Ainsworth, even though Glover told Al.com he won’t endorse in the primary.

For years, money has been allocated to certain offices that were not using funds properly and contributing to wasteful spending, something that Cavanaugh aims to address. In discussing this with her on my radio program, Cavanaugh talked about her initiative to “right-size” government in order to save the state a great deal of money.

In this Alabama Today questionnaire, Cavanaugh lays out her three main focuses if she is elected lieutenant governor of Alabama. She talks about education preparedness, Alabama’s infrastructure, and regulatory reform for the state. All of which would benefit the state and its people.

Rep. Ainsworth proposed a bill in February that would allow teachers to arm themselves in schools. The bill would pay the training cost for teachers, but teachers would be left to purchase a gun themselves.

While there are many in favor of Ainsworth’s plan to arm teachers, there are others who remain hesitant.

Ainsworth’s responses to this Alabama Policy Institute/Yellowhammer News questionnaire will give you a little more insight to what exactly he plans to tackle if he is chosen as the Republican nominee and lieutenant governor of Alabama.

In this study, Alabama was ranked 46th in education after reviewing educational attainment, school quality, and achievement gaps between genders and races. Ainsworth, like Cavanaugh, both have the drive to assist with education in the state of Alabama and improve safety in our schools.

It will be an interesting runoff between Cavanaugh and Ainsworth and we can look for things to heat up come July.

Whoever is chosen in July will face Democrat Will Boyd, who was unopposed in Tuesday’s election.

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and host of The Weekend Briefing that airs noon-2 p.m. Saturdays on 101.1 WDYE