Butler County voters choose Newt

Published 11:35 am Wednesday, March 14, 2012

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum may have been the big winner in Alabama, but he was a close second in Butler County.

Santorum received 32.26 percent of the vote in the county, or 531 votes, while Newt Gingrich garnered 34.69 percent of the vote, or 571 votes, to carry the county.

GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney received 467 votes.

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While Butler County voters may have favored Gingrich, Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead said he doesn’t believe Gingrich can win the nomination.

“I personally don’t see how Speaker Gingrich has a path to the nomination,” Armistead said. “… I think he’s got to weigh his options.”

Santorum received approximately 35 percent of the vote statewide with 94 percent of the precincts reporting on Tuesday, while Gingrich and Romney tied for second with 29 percent of the vote. Ron Paul received five percent of the vote.

“We did it again,” Santorum told his supporters at a rally in Louisiana.

The former Pennsylvania senator has now won 10 state primaries including Iowa, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama.

“I want to thank God for giving us the strength to go out there, to be clear in our message and our vision for this country,” Santorum said.

Alabama Democratic Party Chairman Mark Kennedy wasn’t surprised by Santorum’s victory over Romney, who many believe is still the favorite to win the nomination.

“Mitt Romney’s loss tonight is proof that Alabamians are just not buying what he’s selling and that he is not the right man for the job, despite carpet bombing the state with negative ads against his opponents,” Kennedy said. “Romney has proven over and over that he will say anything to get elected, while ignoring what matters most to the American people, like jobs and security for the middle class.”

With Tuesday’s primaries in the books, the race for the GOP nomination is nearing the halfway point of completion. Twenty-four states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, still have to hold their primaries and caucuses.