ALABAMA (WRBL) – The Alabama Republican Party announced Councilman Jay Hovey as the GOP nominee for Alabama Senate District 27, following new evidence from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency about questionable voting, along with the withdrawal of a complaint by incumbent Sen. Tom Whatley.

Challenger Jay Hovey defeated Whatley by one vote after the ballots were counted. However, Whatley contested the race.

According to ALEA, the person who voted did not properly register to vote in the state of Alabama.

Last Saturday, before ALEA confirmed the person was not registered to vote in the state, the Alabama Republican Party declared the race between Whatley and Hovey a tie, with the race to be decided by a coin toss.

A re-election hearing between Hovey and Whatley was held Friday morning. Whatley withdrew his complaint just before the meeting time.

According to the Republican Party of Alabama, “the rehearing was granted at the request of Jay Hovey and is based on new evidence in the form of a statement released by ALEA approximately 24 hours after the original hearing concluded. At the initial hearing, there was a question as to whether or not the voter in question was registered to vote. It was clear from ALEA’s statement that the voter was not registered to vote.

The decision to drop the contest was based on ALEA’s information, according to the Alabama Republican Party.

“After discussing the matter, the committee’s decision is to reverse its previous decision and refuse the competition based on the new information.”

Howie released the following statement:

“I am honored to be elected as the Republican candidate for the Alabama State Senate from Senate District 27.

I am grateful for the prayers and words of encouragement from my supporters in District 27. This has been a potentially divisive experience. But we argued that we would succeed if we were honest and ran a clean campaign about me and my desire to serve.

I look forward to continuing the campaign to win the general election in November. After November, I pledge to represent the people of Senate District 27 with integrity and honor in the Alabama Senate.

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