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GOP internal divide plays out in Alabama campaign

November 2, 2013 • National News


This combination made from file photos shows former two-year college chancellor Bradley Byrne, left, and Orange Beach businessman Dean Young. The Republican primary in the 1st Congressional District is headed to a runoff Nov. 5 between Byrne and Young. Voters went to the polls Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 to start selecting a replacement for 1st District Rep. Jo Bonner. Republicans’ internal struggle is on display in south Alabama, where a special congressional runoff Tuesday marks a test of the business community’s effort to counter conservative activists who have pushed the party to the right since President Barack Obama’s election in 2008. (AP Photo/AL.com file photos)

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — To get a sense of the Republicans’ internal struggle, take a look at a congressional runoff Tuesday in south Alabama.

The race to succeed U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner, who resigned the seat and became an executive with the state university system, marks a test of the business community’s effort to counter conservative activists who have pushed the party to the right since President Barack Obama’s election in 2008.

Bradley Byrne, a lawyer with two decades in government, is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s preferred candidate, an endorsement that has meant $200,000 in campaign support. The group has said that after October’s partial federal government shutdown and near national credit default it will be more aggressive in Republican primaries.

Byrne’s rival is Dean Young, a self-described tea party conservative best known as a onetime campaign adviser to Roy Moore, the judge who was once ousted as state Supreme Court chief justice after refusing to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the lobby of the Alabama Judicial Login to read more

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