Video: Party-switcher voted out

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    anncr: free cookbook when you join. decision 2010 time. big primary day. archer davis's quest to become the first african-american governor of alabama ended last night. new mexico will have its first woman governor. we have all your results. davis lost to ron sparks by a wide margin. 26-38. several months ago is, sparks considered dropping out of race and running for congress. there will be a july 13th run off on the republican side . who will be competing is still too close to call. robert bentley leads tim james by 140 votes for that second slot and a recount is likely. bradley byrne secured a runoff spot. in that contested republican race for governor of new mexico , district attorney susana martinez trounced al lean wheat, 51-27. pete domenici 's son also ran. the results were so low. this sets up a woman versus woman between martinez and bill richardson 's lieutenant governor diane danish which began last night. take a lis.

    >> and diane believes and has said "over the last five years, i've been working with governor richardson to keep new mexico on the right track. tonight, we start our march towards santa fe and we start to take back our state.

    >> it will get nastier, it will get more intense as the days go on because they'll say and do anything to win.

    >> the new mexico governor's race will only be the third time in u.s. history a woman has run against another woman in a general election for governor. 1986 , democrat helen busalis lost to republican kay orr . in nebraska. and in hawaii's gubernatorial contest lynn sa lingual beat mazie hironop a million hits on youtube, dale peterson did not even make it into a runoff. so he and his rifle will go into the night . turn together battle for the house, democrat turned republican parker griffith became the second party switcher this cycle to be rejected by husband new party. he was crushed by the terry party backed candidate, mo brooks, 51-33 not even making it into a runoff. the highest number of congressional challengers in 35 years. get this, 2,341 people have filed statements of candidacy with filing still open in more than a dozen states. that's almost 1,000 more candidates for congress than there was four years ago. so a lot of people looking at this anger around the country and saying these guys ain't doing it. more people running than in 40 years. unbelievable.

    >> good for democracy. dhu the

updated 6/2/2010 11:04:46 AM ET 2010-06-02T15:04:46

The political shooting-star otherwise known as anti-incumbency fell on Alabama, taking down a first-term congressman who switched from Democrat to Republican just last December.

The hotly-contested health care overhaul was among the issues working against Rep. Parker Griffith, voted out by Republicans Tuesday in the 5th Congressional District in favor of Madison County Commissioner Mo Brooks. With tea party support and the backing of local GOP leaders still bitter about losing to Griffith in 2008, Brooks won Tuesday's primary with slightly more than 50 percent of the vote in a three-candidate field.

Griffith's ouster came on a day in which Rep. Artur Davis lost his bid to become Alabama's first black governor in the state's Democratic primary and New Mexico's gubernatorial primary set up a general election to decide who becomes the state's first female governor.

Griffith's loss was the latest manifestation of an anti-establishment, anti-Washington, anti-incumbency fervor — a 2010 political phenomenom that has shaken the Democratic establishment and the Obama White House, and has also has caused angst in GOP leadership circles.

A rip tide of voter resentment already has cost veteran Sen. Arlen Specter, a converted Democrat, his seat in Pennsylvania, and has ousted incumbent Republican Sen. Robert Bennett in Utah. It forced incumbent Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas into a primary runoff and turned out 14-term Democratic Rep. Allan Mollohan of West Virginia. That same convulsive political atmosphere propelled tea party darling Rand Paul to the GOP senatorial nomination in Kentucky.

In the Alabama governor's race, Davis was overwhelmed by a white Democratic primary opponent who had garnered support from the state's four major black political groups. Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks won the Democratic primary with 62 percent of the vote to Davis's 38 percent, with 96 percent of the precincts reporting.

The state's traditional civil rights organizations backed Sparks after Davis voted against President Barack Obama's federal health care overhaul. But Davis, a Harvard lawyer who led Obama's campaign here in 2008, had endorsements from Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., a civil rights pioneer from Alabama, and Mobile's first black mayor, Sam Jones.

Voter Ben Ray picked Sparks, who has taken positions popular with Democrats, calling for an expansion of gambling, including a lottery, and supporting the federal health care plan.

"I just like his position on the education lottery," Ray said. "I think we need that here."

The chairman of the black Alabama Democratic Conference, Joe Reed, said Davis was hurt by refusing to seek the endorsements of African-American groups and by voting against the federal health care plan.

Sparks said he went after every vote, and his call for an education lottery proved popular with primary voters. Davis conceded in Birmingham, where he said he would support Sparks in the general election.

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Seven GOP candidates for governor were competing in their party's primary Tuesday, and the top vote-getters were expected to go to a runoff on July 13.

Meanwhile, four-term Alabama Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby easily beat his primary challenger, tea party activist N.C. "Clint" Moser.

Shelby was drawing more than 80 percent of the votes in the unofficial count Tuesday evening. Shelby, 76, is favored to beat Democratic nominee Bill Barnes, a Birmingham lawyer.

Turnout across Alabama was light to moderate.

In New Mexico, the state's governor's race will be the third woman against woman gubernatorial general election matchup in U.S. history.

Susana Martinez, the Dona Ana County district attorney, beat her four GOP opponents with 51 percent of the vote in unofficial returns and 95 percent of precincts reporting. Former state GOP chairman Allen Weh had 27 percent.

Martinez will face Democrat Diane Denish, who didn't have a primary opponent, in the general election.

The primary produced a political first for New Mexico because neither Democrats nor Republicans had ever selected a woman as their gubernatorial nominee.

The Republicans are hoping to win the governorship after eight years of Democratic control under Gov. Bill Richardson, who is term-limited and cannot seek re-election. Denish was Richardson's running mate in 2002 and 2006.

In Mississippi, no incumbents faced primary challenges.

Alan Nunnelee won the Republican nomination for a north Mississippi congressional seat. Unofficial results from the three-person GOP primary in the 1st District showed Nunnelee, a state senator from Tupelo, defeated former Eupora Mayor Henry Ross and Fox News analyst Angela McGlowan of Oxford.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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