By CAROLINE BECK, Alabama Daily News
Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl will be the new congressman for Alabama’s 1st Congressional District, beating Democratic candidate James Averhart.
As of Wednesday morning, unofficial election results from the Alabama Secretary of State show Carl with 64.9% of the vote and Averhart with 35%.
“The voters of south Alabama have spoken loudly and clearly tonight – they want a congressman with a backbone who will fight for our values, push back against the liberal agenda and accomplish real results for our district,” Carl said in a press release. “I couldn’t be prouder to be their voice in Congress.”
Carl’s campaign manager, Zach Weidlich, told ADN that Carl is interested in serving on the House Armed Services, Agriculture and Financial Services committees, among others.
Improving the district’s infrastructure, specifically the I-10 Bayway Bridge and the Baldwin Beach Express, and addressing the needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic will be some of the main concerns Carl will focus on going into his first term.
“We’re going to focus on getting this bridge built, without raising taxes to do it,” Carl said. “We’re going to fight for our farmers who are the backbone of our economy. We’re going to fight for trade policies that put America first, and no one else. And we’re going to get our economy reopened by doing what we need to do to protect all Americans from the Coronavirus. Everything I do will focus on jobs and small businesses, the backbone of our economy.”
Carl had amassed a huge war chest by election day and through Oct. 14 had raised $2.1 million and had spent nearly $1.9 million. Carl aligned his campaign with that of President Donald Trump’s and Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville, who also won Tuesday.
Averhart, a longtime military police and corrections officer, had raised a little over $69,000 through Oct. 14 and had spent nearly $60,000.
Carl thanked Rep. Bradley Byrne for his service to the district which he has held since 2014.
“Congressman Byrne has been a champion for our district and a consistent advocate for us in Washington, and I look forward to building on the work that he has accomplished these last 7 years,” Carl said.
A Democrat has not won Alabama’s 1st congressional district in 60 years, and Cook Political Report ranks the district as +15 advantage for Republicans. The district includes Mobile, Baldwin, Washington, Escambia and Monroe counties and parts of Clarke County in South Alabama.