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Rex Reynolds wins special election for House District 21 seat

Madison County District Judge Linda Coats, left, administers the oath of office to Rex Reynolds following his election to the state House of Representatives. Reynolds' wife, Mary, holds the Bible. (Paul Gattis/pgattis@al.com)

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – The unofficial results are in. Rex Reynolds (R) has been elected to fill the vacant state House of Representatives seat for District 21.

Reynolds narrowly defeated Terry Jones (D) in a special election held on Tuesday. The seat was formally held by Jim Patterson, who died suddenly following a heart attack Oct. 2, 2017.

Reynolds was previously the Huntsville police chief and city administrator.

AL.com reports that Reynolds took the oath of office, administered by Madison County District Judge Linda Coats, at 8:23 p.m. — just over an hour after polls closed.

Reynolds’ election comes just as the 2018 legislative session is expected to end on Wednesday and the term will be short. Unless a special session is called by Governor Ivey, Reynolds will not cast a vote during this term.

Reynolds will face Jones on the ballot again in November during the regular legislative election.

“I’m relieved,” Reynolds said. “It was certainly a very close race. The community has spoken. Now I’ll go to Montgomery and represent both those who voted for me as well as those who voted against me.”

According to unofficial results, Reynolds won by 307 votes — winning 53 percent of the 4,457 votes that were cast. Of District 21’s 36,637 registered voters, about 12 percent cast a ballot.

The District 21 seat includes downtown Huntsville and extends north in Madison County to the Tennessee state line.

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan made a statement after the election:

“Congratulations to GOP candidate Rex Reynolds on his victory in today’s election for Alabama House District 21. As the results indicate, Mr. Reynolds, a former police chief, is extremely well respected in his district. We are appreciative of the citizens who went and supported him.

This election shows that Alabama voters agreed that conservative policy clearly benefits our citizens. We are excited to showcase our strong state and county candidates in November who will support our policies that have made such a positive impact in Alabama.

Please note that this special election was held due to a vacancy in the Alabama House of Representatives following the death of Republican State Representative Jim Patterson. Therefore, Mr. Reynolds will face Democrat opposition again during the general election this November.”