Bentley locked in tight battle; Erwin wins county but loses state

Two Shelby County Republican candidates for statewide races began the primaries fighting political battles, but as the day ended, only one was still alive.

Gubernatorial candidate and local son Robert Bentley is locked in a tight race with Tim James to join Bradley Byrne in a runoff for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

Byrne won Shelby County with 7,805 votes or 29.3 percent. Bentley took second place in his home county, with 7,118 votes or 26.7 percent.

Statewide, as of 12:20 a.m. June 2, Byrne had won 28 percent of the vote, while Bentley was about 120 votes up on James. Both Bentley and James had about 25 percent of the vote.

Hank Erwin, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, won Shelby County handily with 12,340 votes or 48.5 percent. Statewide, however, Erwin only garnered 31 percent of the vote to Kay Ivey’s 57 percent.

Erwin said he was proud of his campaign and how he represented Shelby County.

“We ran a complete campaign, and it was a clean campaign,” he said. “I was pleased with all the people who did vote for us. I think that really represents well for Shelby County. From the very beginning, we wanted to act in a way that would make Shelby County proud. We feel we did that during this campaign.”

Calls to Bentley were not immediately returned.

If Bentley wins a spot in the runoff, he will compete against Byrne July 13.