Low turnout as Roby aims to block GOP challenger

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Alabama Gavel MGN Online

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – Alabama’s election chief says turnout in the primary runoffs appears to be “extraordinarily low.”

Secretary of State John Merrill gave the assessment late Tuesday morning.

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Among the notable races, U.S. Rep. Martha Roby is trying to hold back a primary challenge from former congressman Bobby Bright in Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District.

President Donald Trump has endorsed Roby. The endorsement could help her overcome a backlash after she withdrew her endorsement of him in 2016 after the release of the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape.

Merrill says he anticipates on average that 15 to 18 percent of the state’s registered voters will cast ballots Tuesday. He expects turnout to be higher in the 2nd Congressional District but isn’t predicting an exact number.

Midnight

Alabama voters go to the polls Tuesday in several heated Republican runoffs.

Armed with an endorsement from President Donald Trump, U.S. Rep. Martha Roby is trying to hold back a challenge from former congressman Bobby Bright.

The endorsement could help Roby overcome a backlash after she withdrew her endorsement of him in 2016 after the release of the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape.

Bright has painted Roby as an establishment Republican out of touch with her heavily agrarian and military district.

In the runoff for lieutenant governor, Public Service Commission President Twinkle Cavanaugh faces state Rep. Will Ainsworth. Attorney General Steve Marshall faces challenger Troy King in the runoff for attorney general. State Sen. Gerald Dial of Lineville faces Rick Pate in the agriculture commissioner runoff.