Erwin pulls out win in District 14 race

In his first try at elected office, former Christian talk radio host Hank Erwin Jr. defeated Pelham businessman Don Murphy in the hotly contested District 14 race where about a half a million dollars was spent by the four candidates.

Erwin, a Montevallo resident, garnered 54 percent of the some 9,000 votes cast in the runoff.

District 14 covers parts of Jefferson and Bibb counties, all of Chilton County and the heavily populated western portion of Shelby County.

Murphy, who was endorsed by the mayors of Hoover, Helena, Calera and Pelham in recent weeks, lost with 46 percent of the vote.

Erwin carried Shelby County with 52 percent (2,238) percent of the 4,366 votes cast. Murphy had 48 percent (2,128 votes).

Erwin will take over the Alabama Senate seat formerly held by Lt. Gov.-candidate Bill Armistead because he is unopposed in the general election.

&uot;We are elated. This is a victory for the little guys,&uot; Erwin said.

&uot;We felt real good going into the final round. We had a strong grass-roots campaign, an army of volunteers and a lot of prayer.

&uot;This election shows that even if you didn’t have the money, you can win. We were outspent 20 to one in the primary and five to one in the runoff,&uot; he said.

Murphy said he was satisfied with the campaign he ran.

&uot;We came up a few votes short. We just didn’t quite get there. We did everything we thought we could do,&uot; he said. &uot;We just didn’t have the turnout.&uot;

As far as the long race, Murphy said he wished there was less mudslinging by the candidates.

&uot;Rules are made, and all we can do is go by them. If you are going to run for office, you have to let the people decide without cutting down your opponent. You have to run on your merits.&uot;

Erwin stated during the campaign that if elected, he would seek to replace Sen. Armistead as a protector of family values in the Alabama Legislature.

He campaigned in almost 100 churches and said he will work to protect residents from gambling, abortion, pornography and homosexuality.

Erwin has been an ordained minister for 17 years.

He also runs a nonprofit group in Alabaster called SAV-America, with SAV meaning &uot;Standard American Values.&uot;

In the primary race on June 4, Erwin garnered 39 percent of the more than 17,000 votes.

Murphy was second with 29 percent of the vote.

Steve Flowers totaled 27 percent, and candidate, Mike Morton finished with only 4 percent