MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Attorney General Steve Marshall won the Republican nomination for Attorney General in Tuesday’s runoff election.
Marshall, 53, was appointed by then-Gov. Robert Bentley to the attorney general’s job in 2017. He succeeded Luther Strange in the office after Bentley appointed Strange to fill the U.S. Senate seat of now-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
King, 49, served as attorney general from 2004 to 2010.
The runoff was necessary after Marshall narrowly won the first round of voting in a four-candidate race. Marshall received 28 percent of the GOP primary votes to King’s 27 percent.
The candidates spent a lot of money on the race. Marshall’s campaign spent $3.1 million, records show, and King spent around $2.2 million.
The race was contentious with Marshall arguing King couldn’t be trusted and King filing an ethics complaint against Marshall. King alleged that Marshall had received more than $700,000 in illegal campaign contributions from the Republican Attorneys General Association, arguing the donations violated Alabama’s ban on PAC to PAC transfers.
Marshall said the claim showed King’s desperation as a candidate. A lawsuit filed by King last week seeking to block Marshall from spending the campaign funds was thrown out by a Montgomery judge.
The race was also marked by an unexpected tragedy. Marshall’s wife died in late June and he briefly halted his campaign.
Marshall, the former district attorney in Marshall County for 16 years, switched parties in 2011, leaving the Democratic Party and becoming a Republican. King tried to highlight that fact during the campaign, arguing if Marshall won, voters would be choosing between two Democrats – Marshall or the Democrat’s nominee Joseph Siegelman, in November.
Siegelman released a statement congratulating his opponent:
“Congratulations to Steve Marshall on winning the hard-fought Republican nomination. I look forward to discussing the many issues currently facing the people of Alabama. In the end, this is about people, not politics.”
Siegelman is the son of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman.