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Alabama: Hendricks has not decided whether to contest her primary loss

The Birmingham News reports this non-news: Gaynell Hendricks said she hasn't decided whether she will contest her 59-vote loss to Patricia Todd in the House District 54 democratic runoff July 18.

She rallied supporters at a Thursday news conference where backers vowed support and called for further investigation of voting procedures.

In the July 18 runoff, Todd had 1,173 votes or 51 percent and Hendricks had 1,114 or 49 percent. The Jefferson County Democratic Executive Committee has canvassed the votes and determined the totals were accurate. The Alabama Democratic Party is expected to certify the votes today in the secretary of state's office, said Jim Spearman, the state party's executive director. Hendricks would then have until noon Monday to contest the election, he said. -- Hendricks hasn't decided on contesting vote

Comment: Patricia Todd has hired me to represent her in this matter.

Kyle Whitmire wrote this analysis of the election in the Birmingham Weekly: Gaynell Hendricks doesn’t understand why she lost her race for Alabama House District 54. If you ask her, or any of her campaign faithful, you’ll be told that Hendricks was robbed on election night. She was robbed all right, but it happened long before the polls closed Tuesday and she let the thieves through the door herself.

Hendricks could have won. But she listened to bad advice from people — including the mayor of Birmingham — whose understanding of Birmingham’s political landscape is defective. Someone told Hendricks that bigotry was still a shortcut to public office. She took that shortcut, only to end up farther from where she wanted to be. As of the last tally Tuesday night, Patricia Todd nudged past her with 59 more votes.

The race for District 54 was ugly and divisive. Hendricks is a black businesswoman who, before moving to the building she and her husband own downtown, claimed a Mountain Brook address. Todd is a white, openly gay administrator who received campaign financing from gay and lesbian groups who wanted her to win.

Most legislative districts in the county are gerrymandered to skew toward one racial/political majority or the other, but District 54 has become a mix of demographics — a virtual fault line of black and white. -- Turning off whitey

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