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Kitchens cooks win in state Senate special election – ‘this district is my home’

On Tuesday night, a special election in state Senate District 9 to fill former Senate Majority Leader Clay Scofield’s seat in the Alabama Legislature’s higher chamber was decided without a runoff. 

Among three candidates, two sitting members of the House, Rep. Wes Kitchens (R-Arab) emerged victorious with an unofficial 51.7% of the total votes cast. 

Despite cold, rainy conditions on election day, both candidates said they stood by the message they imparted with voters and felt confident in their ability to represent the area where they grew up. 

“We knocked on more than 6,000 doors and feel like we’ve been talking to voters about the issues they really care about,” Kitchens told Yellowhammer News Tuesday. “Whether you live in Blount, Madison or Marshall County, you want a safe community to raise your family, a quality education for your children, and job opportunities.  

RELATED: Rep. Kitchens will seek Scofield seat in State Senate

“I have a record in the Legislature of supporting our schools, standing up for family values, and being a genuine conservative. I think that’s what folks in Senate District 9 are looking for.”

Voters agreed. 

Kitchens, a second-term member of the Alabama House representing Marshall County, reported a campaign cash-on-hand balance of $104,142 headed into the first week of January. As of Monday, the balance was $24,989.98. 

Despite attacks over voting in favor of the 2019 gas tax increase and receiving money from liberal political groups such as the Alabama Education Association, Kitchens’ campaign, both in terms of targeted and grassroots outreach, proved demonstrably effective. 

RELATED: Colvin doubles first month fundraising lead in Senate special, Kitchens’ warchest grows

“At the end of the day, this district is my home. It’s a place I plan to live, work, and raise a family. I’m running for this position because I want to represent my neighbors in Montgomery. I believe they know they can trust me to do the right thing,” Kitchens told Yellowhammer News.

A House colleague of Kitchens’ for one year in a four-year term, Rep. Brock Colvin (R-Albertville), said he was also proud of his campaign effort, 

“We purposely put together a strong grassroots campaign. We ended up knocking off 7,000 doors in eight weeks. I think 85% of the money we raised came from people that either work or live in the district,” Colvin told Yellowhammer News on Tuesday before polls closed. 

“And I’m proud that, you know, I like to get my community invested.” 

Colvin thanked his campaign team, friends, and supporters in a post Tuesday night.

Without a qualified Democratic opponent in the general election and a primary runoff averted, Kitchens is the presumed senator-elect for District 9. 

When asked what he would do if he were able to win outright on Tuesday, Kitchens told Yellowhammer News he would, “immediately start making plans to ensure Senate District 9 is well represented in the upcoming legislative session.”

“I’ll sit down with leaders from all three counties and see what our local priorities are,” he said. 

Grayson Everett is the state and political editor for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @Grayson270

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