HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Some Madison County voters headed to the polls Tuesday for a special election.
They voted for a candidate to fill the District 7 State Senate seat vacated by U.S. Rep. Parker Griffith's election to Congress.
Voters chose between Democrat State Rep. Laura Hall and Republican restaurateur Paul Sanford.
Hall is a 16-year member of the Alabama State House of Representatives. She was also a teacher for more than 40 years.
Sanford is a political newcomer who has owned and operated Little Paul's Barbeque in Huntsville since 2002.
56 of 57 Precincts reporting
Laura Hall (D) - 8,872- 43%
Paul Sanford (R) - 11,984- 57%
There are about 95,000 eligible voters for this election. That's about half the voters in Madison county.
District 7 includes much of central Madison County, encompassing parts of Huntsville, Meridianville and Hazel Green up to the Tennessee state line.
Rep. Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn), Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, issued the following statement:
"We said all along that this district was drawn to favor the Democrats, so to pull out the win is a major accomplishment. Paul Sanford and his campaign worked tirelessly to make this happen, and we are happy that we had the resources to help them in their efforts. This election represents one of the largest investments that our Party has ever made into an election, so the result is very rewarding. The voters spoke loud and clear today, and they told Montgomery that change is needed. Senator Paul Sanford is a strong conservative who runs a small business, the voters felt that he is the best to represent them in the Senate - and I agree. This victory proves that our plan is good, that our base is energized and that the face of the majority will be forever changed come 2010."
"Paul Sanford brings small business experience to the Alabama Senate at such a crucial time of economic challenge. Paul will roll up his sleeves and fight for free market principles and the people of the 7th District in Montgomery," said RSLC President Scott Ward. "Paul understands that the people of his district want a leader who will spend their dollar wisely - and that's what they'll get. As we continue to rebuild the Republican Party by building a farm team for the future at the state level, we are thrilled to welcome Paul Sanford to the team."
"It is refreshing to know that voters still care about the issues affecting them and our state," said Mr. Sanford. "This is my first campaign for public office and it is evident that people desire fresh ideas and real reform," he added.
"I also want to extend special thanks to the Alabama Republican Party because without their Victory Program we don't think the margin would have been this wide," Senator-elect Sanford said. "The plan Chairman Hubbard has put together for 2010 is a strong, solid plan, the results of which you saw today," said Mr. Sanford. He continued, "Their significant investment in time, resources and manpower along with that of other pro-business associations, were key to this victory, and I look forward to meeting with all the Republican state senators next week as their newest member."