State Senator Withdraws Challenge To 1 Vote Defeat

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A state senator has dropped a challenge to his one-vote defeat in the Republican primary.

State Sen. Tom Whatley withdrew before the latest re-hearing in the dispute, party officials said. Auburn City Councilman Jay Hovey is the Republican nominee in the race. He will face Democratic nominee Sherri Reese in November.

Whatley filed a challenge after losing the primary race by a single vote. Party officials then declared the race a tie, overruling local officials over the eligibility of a voter who maintained she was wrongly left off voter rolls. Party officials planned to decide the race by a coin flip.

The party scheduled a re-hearing at Hovey's request after the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said they had no record of the woman completing the voter registration process. Whatley withdrew before the re-hearing was held, party officials said.

Patsy Kenney had cast a provisional ballot for Whatley. She said she registered to vote when she went to get her Alabama driver's license. The law enforcement agency said she did not complete the process of getting a license and voter registration is sent only after, “the credential is issued and the customer signs the required declaration.”

A lawyer for Kenney said she is reviewing options.