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Butch Taylor wins District 22 race

HUNTSVILLE (AP) — Voters in House District 22 on Tuesday elected Democrat Butch Taylor by 58 percent in a special election to replace longtime state Rep. Albert Hall, according to unofficial returns.

District 22 includes parts of eastern Madison County and western Jackson County. Taylor's victory gives Democrats a 62-43 majority in the House.

"I'm extremely happy, primarily because Butch Taylor is going to be a great state representative," Alabama Democratic Party chair Joe Turnham said in a phone interview Tuesday night. "It has to be a blow to the Republican party because the legislative leadership and governor had all been up there saying they were going to take that seat."

Turnham said Taylor would "follow in the footsteps" of Hall, D-Gurley, who served 28 years in the Legislature. He died on Nov. 12, five days after being re-elected to an eighth term.

Taylor had 2,583 votes while Republican Wayne Johnson had 1,852 with 23 of 24 boxes in Jackson County reporting and 17 of 18 precincts in Madison County reporting, The Huntsville Times reported Tuesday night on its Web site.

The uncounted boxes are for provisional votes. There were none in Jackson County, and provisional votes in Madison County will be counted next week.

In Madison County, Taylor had 1,838 votes compared to Johnson's 1,471.

Taylor is a member of the Madison County school board. Johnson is a retired sheriffs deputy and now a bailiff in the Madison County Courthouse.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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