Allison Blankenship

Unofficial results of the Republican primary for the state House of Representatives District 79 seat show Joe Lovvorn winning the majority vote.

According to Election Manager Robert Garris, Lovvorn received 51.29 percent of the votes, with 2,097 votes.

The results won't be official until next week, Garris said.

Out of approximately 33,000 registered voters, 4,089 showed up to the polls on Tuesday, making voter turnout 12 percent for the Republican primary. That 12 percent does not reflect provisional ballots that are not certified yet.

Lovvorn thanked voters who did show up and said he believes maintaining a positive campaign went a long way.

"We haven't spent a single dime trying to bash anyone or talk bad about our opponents," he said. "We've just focused on introducing ourselves to people and getting our message out ... I just feel honored to be the candidate, and I love this community and look forward to serving them in another way."

Lovvorn is a battalion chief with the Auburn Fire Division and a local business owner.

With four Republican candidates vying to be on the general election ballot for the District 79 seat, a run-off was a possibility. Lovvorn said he is overwhelmed with the voters' support.

"I'm just overwhelmed by the support of this community," he said. "The fact that we ... were able to do it without a run-off — everyone said it was mathematically impossible, but I think the people that care about the people running a positive campaign, they showed up.

"I just want to thank all my family and friends and all the voters that turned out tonight. And just all the prayers that people have put out for us just knowing that our family's been under stress through a campaign for the first time ever. I put my heart into looking out for the best interests of this community, and for the community to show up and support me in this way, it's overwhelming and much appreciated."

Lovvorn will be placed on the general election ballot. The election will take place Nov. 29.

He could face opposition by third-party candidate Gage Fenwick, should Fenwick have gathered the required number of signatures by the end of election day on Tuesday to be placed on the ballot.

The Secretary of State Office had not returned calls by deadline to confirm if Fenwick gained ballot access. According to Fenwick's Facebook page, he submitted more than 300 signatures, which is more than the required 276.

Also in the running in the Republican primary was Sandy Toomer, who received 1,059 votes; Brett Smith, who received 501 votes; and Jay Conner, who received 431 votes, according to unofficial election results.

A special election was called for the House District 79 seat by Gov. Robert Bentley after the seat was vacated by former Speaker Mike Hubbard.

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