Incumbent Republican Mo Brooks faces Democrat Peter Joffrion in 5th Congressional District race

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Voters will decide Tuesday if they want to return incumbent Republican Congressman Mo Brooks to Washington for a fifth term, or give Democrat Peter Joffrion a chance to represent the Huntsville-area district

Brooks’ message has focused on immigration, cutting debt and consistent GOP themes.

“I think people in the Tennessee Valley prefer a congressman who is strongly in favor of national defense,” Brooks said, believes in the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, who prefers free enterprise which works, over socialism that doesn’t.

Joffrion, the former Huntsville city attorney, has heard from voters around the district. He said plenty of people are continuing to struggle, working more than one job to make ends meet. And, they’re worried about health care.

“Across the district, health care definitely is still the number one issue,” Joffrion said. “It’s not always an issue for people who have good jobs in Huntsville and Madison County because their employers provide good health insurance for them, but outside of some pockets, health care is the strongest issues across the district.”

Brooks said GOP candidates and their message will fare well in Alabama, but he’s not sure about the rest of the U.S.

“Now in other parts of the country, there are some real fights going on,” Brooks said. “Who knows how accurate the polling data is? But if the polling data is accurate, it looks like Republicans are going to gain 1 to 4 seats in the United States Senate and we’re at risk of losing the House.”

Joffrion said voter turnout will prove decisive “I think the Democrats will regain control of the House,” he said. “It’s impossible to know how many seats will be flipped in this election. “

Joffrion said the vote in a number of House districts will be extremely tight “Depending on just a few percentage points, of voters which means the key is voter turnout,” he said.

And, he likes his chances. “I feel great. If the energy on the ground is any indication, if we have a good voter turnout, then we feel like we will win,” Joffrion said.

But Brooks has won four prior House races and is eyeing the fifth. “We’re cautiously optimistic,” Brooks said.

Joffrion’s been running for the seat for 18 months. “Everyone is ready for tomorrow to come, and we know at the end of the day, win or lose, we will have done everything that we possibly could have done to make this happen,” Joffrion said.

Brooks believes his message will resonate

“The reports I’m getting throughout the 5th Congressional District is that we’re in good shape,” he said. “But you know it’s up to the voters, and we’ll see on Tuesday night if the voters have succumbed to the temptation to play with the socialist economic model again.”

Brooks and his supporters will gather to watch returns at the Huntsville Botanical Garden. Joffrion and other local Democrats will be at the Jackson Center next to the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology.