BESSEMER, Ala. (WIAT)- A runoff election is happening today for two republican candidates vying for the Alabama House District 16 seat. The district represents portions of Fayette, Jefferson and Tuscaloosa counties.
The seat was previously held by Kyle South who resigned in June to serve as president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama.
Candidates Bryan Brinyark and Brad Cox are neck and neck going into today’s runoff. They each received 32% of votes out of 6 candidates in the primary election. Cox walked away with just 15 more votes than Brinyark.
Both said they are confident they have what it takes to serve as the district’s next representative.
Brinyark said he’s a family man with a lot of life and legal experience.
“As an attorney for 30 years, and a municipal judge for 23, and a mediator for 15, it’s just something that I kind of feel like I have a skillset that helps,” Brinyark said.
Cox is currently a county commissioner in Fayette County. He said he has a strong desire to serve the community.
“I’ve ran on a platform. A Christian, a republican, conservative and if elected I’m not just going to campaign as those things, I’m going to govern as those things,” he said.
If elected, Cox said he envisions governing responsibly, having integrity, transparency and accessibility with constituents.
As a former teacher who spent a lot of time in the classroom, Cox said he’s passionate about education and agriculture. He said he feels like his experience in various fields like education and banking will allow him the ability to tackle issues like improving job opportunity.
“Another issue that’s really important to me would be career tech education, vocational training for students, retention of our young people in our rural communities,” Cox said.
Brinyark said he plans to address education, hoping to bring in more funding to help improve grades and teacher recruitment.
He also plans to protect the values of their district’s people and expand job opportunities.
“We need to find ways to support the businesses that we have, so that people when they graduate from Fayetteville County High School or they graduate from Oak Grove or anywhere, Northside, that they can graduate from high school if they choose not to go to college then they’ve got a job to go to,” Brinkyark said. “And we need to support these jobs, support the local businesses and then find ways to recruit new business and recruit new industry to this district.”
Voting on Tuesday will take place from 7a.m. to 7p.m. The winner will advance to the special general election in January.