Atmore resident Ashley Hoffman votes in the presidential primary Tuesday afternoon at the polling station at Atmore Public Library

Santorum wins county, state

Published 11:13pm Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Rick Santorum was named the winner of the Republican presidential primary in Alabama Tuesday night — and Escambia County voters chose him as well.

But perhaps the surprise of the night was the strong support for former Chief Justice Roy Moore, who rode a horse to the polls earlier Tuesday in his bid to regain the seat from which he was ousted in 2003.

Moore won 51 percent of the vote in Escambia County, and at press time was leading two other candidates — Charlie Graddick and incumbent Chuck Malone, who was appointed to the position by longtime friend Gov. Robert Bentley just last year, when Democrat Sue Bell Cobb stepped down.

If Moore’s vote total held, he would win the GOP nomination outright, with no runoff needed.

Escambia County had no local races on the ballot, but turnout was still fair at about 20 percent, Probate Judge Emilie Mims said.

“The biggest problem was confusion because the Republican ballot was so complicated,” she said. “A lot of questions were asked about it.”

Republican voters were asked to vote for delegates for the presidential candidate each chose, making the ballot lengthy. But voters were only supposed to choose delegates for their chosen candidates.

Santorum won 37 percent of the vote in Escambia County, with Mitt Romney at 31 percent and Newt Gingrich at 26 percent.

In other races:

• First Congressional district: Incumbent Jo Bonner looked to be headed back to Washington. At press time, he had won four of the six counties he represents, including Escambia, and was leading the three challengers by a comfortable 57 percent. He won 67 percent of the vote in Escambia County.

• State board of education president, District 1: Tracy Roberts of Baldwin County won Escambia County with 54 percent of the vote over Jessica James and was leading the district at press time.

• Chief justice: Moore won 51 percent of the vote in Escambia County, with Graddick second at 39 percent.

• Associate justice of the Supreme Court: Tommy Bryan won Escambia County with 70 percent of the vote and was leading in the state at press time.

• Public service commission president: Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh won Escambia County with 51 percent of the vote and was leading the state at press time.

 

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