James drops out of governor’s race
The recount over, Tim James officially conceded on Monday that his race for the state’s highest office is over.
A statewide recount completed last week of Republican gubernatorial ballots confirmed that James had finished third to Dr. Robert Bentley in the June 1 Primary Election.
Bentley’s lead over James was 167 votes after the primary.
Following the recount, his lead over the Greenville businessman had stretched to 270 votes.
Bentley will face Bradley Byrne in the Republican run-off on July 13.
“As everyone knows, given the razor thin margin in this race, I had no choice but to push for a recount to assure 125 thousand voters that the first count was tallied correctly,” said James. “As I said many times, I knew we had to take our time and do it right; and I think we did.”
James thanked his staff, the voters, his family and wife, Angela, for their support.
“Angela and my family have been there,” said James. “She’s the real trooper in this thing we call a campaign.”
James made national headlines and appeared on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” following a television advertisement in April calling for an English-only state drivers license exam.
Polling data collected leading up to the primary election suggested that it was two-man race between James and Byrne.
Both men spent a combined $9 million on their campaigns.
But it was the Tuscaloosa legislator Bentley, who spent a fraction of that total, ($1.4 million), that was able to secure a spot in the run-off.
“Now that every vote has been counted, I am honored to declare victory and move forward with the run-off campaign,” Bentley said. “I congratulate Tim James for waging a hard fought campaign, but am ready to debate the key challenges facing Alabama with my run-off opponent.”
Byrne said he respected James’ conservative principles and also congratulated him for having run an “exciting” campaign.
“I have known Tim for more than thirty years having worked on his father’s 1978 campaign, and I respect his commitment to the people of Alabama,” said Byrne.