Although Byrne was endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Young had the backing of Republicans on the far right, including Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, the victor said the national media got it wrong. This was not a contest between opposing ideologies, he said, but instead a vote on who the people of the district felt could best serve their interests
Maybe so, but because those interests are more about conservative ideology than conservative economics, it comes down to the same thing. As far as the defeated candidate was concerned, his candidacy was “a warning shot” to the establishment.
With the primary over, it stands to reason that Republicans would unite behind their nominee and get ready for the general election. But that doesn’t seem to be happening.
During the final, bitter weeks of the campaign, the Byrne camp ran an ad claiming that a decade ago Young had shut down the Christian Family Association PAC and funneled its money into his own consulting firm. Outraged at the charge, Young told his faithful that if he lost he would not support “someone who would mislead the people of south Alabama like Bradley Byrne has.”
After his defeat, Young reiterated that pledge. There was no immediate congratulatory phone call from Young, and Byrne said he wasn’t expecting one.
Instead, Byrne rallied his troops for the Dec. 17 general election. Though no one gives Democrats much of a chance in the heavily Republican district, the GOP nominee told his supporters “don’t take down your yard signs.”
Some speculate Young may be telling his supporters the same thing because he has not ruled out challenging Byrne again in 2014.
This runoff election may be behind them, but among many Republicans in the 1st congressional district, there is still a lot of angry shouting going on.