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Last updated 3:43AM ET
March 9, 2021
Mitchem Wins Top Job in Alabama Senate
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - Republican Governor Bob Riley's effort to organize the new state Senate collapsed Tuesday when senators elected Democratic Senator Hinton Mitchem of Union Grove to the top leadership role of president pro tem. Mitchem won after Riley ally and fellow Democrat Jim Preuitt of Talladega withdrew his name when it became clear he didn't have the votes to win. Mitchem defeated a last-minute candidate, Midfield Senator E-B McClain, 18-to-17. Senator Lowell Barron of Fyffe, who has been the president pro tem for the last eight years, did not seek another term. Preuitt, working with Riley, had tried to put together a coalition of the Senate's 12 Republicans with several Democrats who had fallen out with Barron. As of last week, Preuitt was confident he would get the support of 19 of the Senate's 35 members. But Mitchem kept trying to unite Democrats and ended up prying away some of Preuitt's support. Democrats have controlled the Alabama Senate since Reconstruction ended in the 1870s.

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