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State Sen. Tom Whatley ‘confident’ he will be declared victor as challenger Jay Hovey leads by one vote

Even as the provisional ballot count has concluded, the GOP primary contest between State Sen. Tom Whatley (R-Auburn) and Auburn City Councilman Jay Hovey has not yet concluded, according to a statement from the senator’s campaign.

The ending results on Election Day showed Whatley trailing Hovey by just four votes.

When provisional ballots were counted Tuesday afternoon in Senate District 27’s Russell, Lee and Tallapoosa Counties, Hovey led the three-term senator by one vote.

In a statement provided to Yellowhammer News, the Whatley campaign expressed confidence that the incumbent senator would emerge victorious in the hotly contested race.

“Our campaign is following the law, as set forth by the legislature for just such occasions,” Whatley’s campaign advised. “In one of the closest races in Alabama history, we are confident that after all Republican ballots are examined, Sen. Tom Whatley will be rightfully declared as the Republican nominee for Senate District 27.”

Whatley’s campaign noted that he would offer no further comment until the process was resolved.

While the campaign’s statement did not mention the possibility of a recount, the Alabama Republican Party (ALGOP) was notified that the election had been contested.

According to WRBL News 3, Whatley edged Hovey six votes to four when provisional ballots were tallied in Lee County. In Tallapoosa County, three votes went to Whatley’s column while two went to Hovey. No provisional ballots cast in Russell County applied to the race, according to election officials.

Whatley outspent Hovey in the Auburn area primary contest $1,251,359 to $94,674, which is more than a 13:1 margin.

The eventual winner of the hotly contested GOP primary will face Democratic nominee and U.S. Army veteran Sherri Reece in the November 8 general election.

Yellowhammer News will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates accordingly.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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