Top stories of 2014: Sen. Bedford ousted by Dr. Larry Stutts
After nearly three decades of service, Democratic state senator, Roger Bedford lost a close election to Republican newcomer, Dr. Larry Stutts. The election was so tight that a recount was enforced.
The Senate District 6 race was too close to call and election officials said the race will go into an automatic recount.
Numbers late Tuesday night showed Republican candidate Dr. Larry Stutts only had a 26-vote lead on incumbent Sen. Roger Bedford.
In Franklin County, Bedford carried the county with 4,810 votes to Stutts’ 2,895 votes.
However, the votes in other counties in Senate District 6 made the overall vote count too close to make a definite decision by press time.
With a political career that spans 28 years, Sen. Roger Bedford has represented Franklin County for nearly three decades and has been part of countless projects that have benefited local citizens and businesses.
Running on a campaign that called for change and fresh perspective, Stutts had hoped voters were ready for a new face to represent them in Montgomery.
Stutts said that he felt comfortable with going ahead and being sworn in on Nov. 28 after hearing from state officials.
“Everything that I had heard was that the results were going to be verified and the final count would stand,” Stutts said.
Stutts said that after the recount on Dec. 1 he was notified that everything still checked out.
“I worked today and I’ve had people calling all day about the recount,” Stutts said. “Everything has been verified now and the results show that I won by 70 votes.”
Stutts said another reason he chose to be sworn in to office Nov. 28 was to be able to have his family with him.
“All my kids were home on Friday and Judge Hughston was available and told me to come down and we could do it on the steps of the courthouse,” Stutts said. “That was great to be able to have my adult children who live out of town and my child who was home from college be there with my wife and I.”
Judge Harold Hughston, Jr. of Alabama’s 31st Circuit Court officiated the swearing in of Stutts.
“We live five minutes from the courthouse and Judge Hughston’s office is in the courthouse so he suggested we come on down there and do it,” Stutts said. “He is a family friend of ours and we go to the same church and any judge in Alabama can do the ceremony.”
Stutts said he is glad the whole campaign process is over.
“My wife has worked so hard and there is no way I would have been able to do any of this without her,” Stutts said. “And everybody who has worked with me has been working hard since April. We are relieved that it is all over and now I’m ready to go to work.”