Sparks wins Democratic race for Alabama governor; 4 Republicans bunched up in primary

By Phillip Rawls, AP
Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sparks wins Dem race for Al. governor; GOP tied

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama’s agriculture commissioner overwhelmed a congressman trying to become the first black to win Alabama’s Democratic nomination for governor, while four candidates ran a close race for the Republican nomination.

With 58 percent of the precincts reporting, Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks won with 65 percent to U.S. Rep. Artur Davis’s 35 percent. Sparks, who is white, had the support of the state’s four major black political groups.

In the crowded Republican field, former two-year college chancellor Bradley Byrne, Greenville developer Tim James and Tuscaloosa physician Robert Bentley are tied at 26 percent each. Former Chief Justice Roy Moore is polling 20 percent.

The top two in the GOP fight will advance to a runoff July 13.

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