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Business Goes Big for Byrne

Bradley Byrne greets supporters at Wintzell’s restaurant, his election night headquarters, in downtown Mobile on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013.

Bradley Byrne greets supporters at Wintzell’s restaurant, his election night headquarters, in downtown Mobile on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013.

AP Photo/AL.com, Sharon Steinmann

It’s commonplace to find a mailbox full of flyers in the days before an election, but when you find three in one day from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, all backing one candidate in a party primary run-off, you know business is flexing its money muscle.

In the November Republican run-off for Alabama’s 1st Congressional District seat — a contest between Mobile attorney Bradley Byrne and Gulf Shores real estate investor Dean Young — the U.S. Chamber decided to take a pro-business stand.

“The endorsement in the Alabama contest is the chamber’s first political move since the 16-day partial U.S. government shutdown and debt-ceiling battle, which exposed a rift between the Republican establishment wing and the smaller-government movement,” Bloomberg reported.

“The campaign marked the first big electoral test for business-minded Republicans riled by the recent government shutdown and standoff over the debt ceiling,” the Washington Post said. “Byrne, a business attorney and former state senator, said during the campaign that shutdown was not good for the country, while Young said it ‘was not the end of the world.’”

The two candidates were vying for the Republican spot on the ballot to replace Jo Bonner, who resigned his seat representing Alabama’s first congressional district in mid-term. Byrne will now face Democrat Burton LeFlore, a real estate agent who carries the familiar name of a civil rights era leader in the city.

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