MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The hottest races in Tuesday's primary in Alabama were not for the top spot of governor, but for other statewide offices.
SECRETARY OF STATE: State Rep. John Merrill of Tuscaloosa and former Montgomery County Probate Judge Reese McKinney will be in a runoff for the Republican nomination July 15. With 95 percent of the precincts reporting, Merrill polled 40 percent of the vote and McKinney had 38 percent. Crenshaw County Probate Judge Jim Perdue finished third. The Republican nominee will face Democrat Lula Albert-Kaigler in the general election Nov. 4.
STATE AUDITOR: Mobile attorney Jim Zeigler polled 47 percent of the vote in the Republican primary but is headed to a runoff with retired Shelby County businessman Dale Peterson, who had 24 percent. Adam Thompson, deputy chief of staff for the secretary of state, ran third with 19 percent, and former assistant state conservation commissioner Hobbie Sealey had 10 percent. Zeigler and Peterson had the most name recognition in the low-budget race. Zeigler, a former member of the Public Service Commission who earned the nickname "Mr. 49" percent, ran after narrowly losing multiple other statewide races. Peterson became a YouTube sensation with his 2010 gun-toting campaign ads for state agriculture commissioner. The winner of the GOP primary will face Democrat Miranda Joseph in November.
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR: Republican Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey won the nomination for a second term by defeating Kimberly minister Stan Cooke with 62 percent of the vote. Ivey attributed her victory to being part of the Republican leadership team in the Legislature. "The people of Alabama truly appreciate the work done by the team of pro-business conservatives," she said. Ivey meets former state Rep. James Fields, a Democrat, in the general election Nov. 4.
PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSIONER PLACE 1: Incumbent Republican Service Commissioner Jeremy Oden won the Republican primary with 52 percent to 48 percent for retired businesswoman Kathy Peterson in nearly complete returns. No Democrat is running in November.
PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSIONER PLACE 2: Republican Public Service Commissioner Terry Dunn is headed to a runoff with former Greene County Commission Chairman Chip Beeker on July 15. In nearly complete returns, Beeker had 39 percent and Dunn polled 33 percent. Media company owner Jonathan Barbee pulled 16 percent and Alabama Minority GOP chairman Phillip Brown had 13 percent. There is not a Democrat running in November.
BOARD OF EDUCATION DISTRICT 2: Republican incumbent Betty Peters won with 59 percent to 41 percent for former Eufaula school superintendent Barry R. Sadler with 88 percent of the precincts reporting. There is not a Democrat in the race.
BOARD OF EDUCATION DISTRICT 6: In the Republican primary, Cynthia McCarty, an economics professor at Jacksonville State University, won with 53 percent to 47 percent for retired teacher Patricia McGriff. There is not a Democrat in the race.
BOARD OF EDUCATION DISTRICT 8: Republican incumbent Mary Scott Hunter, a lawyer, is on her way to a second term. She polled 57 percent against fighter pilot Mike Parsons and has no Democratic opposition in November.