Republican Bradley Byrne won the right to represent Alabama's 1st Congressional District in Congress, handily defeating Democrat Burton LeFlore Tuesday.
Byrne, a lawyer, won 71 percent of the vote compared to just 29 percent for LeFlore, according to The Associated Press. As expected, Byrne's toughest competition for the seat near Mobile, Ala., was during his fall Republican primary when he defeated a tea party candidate for the right to vie in the general election. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, won 62 percent of the vote in the district in the 2012 election.
Byrne, who made a failed bid for governor in 2010, was the Republican Party establishment candidate of choice, earning support from House leadership and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce during his primary.
Top GOP officials praised Byrne following his win.
"He will join the Republican majority in the House of Representatives as they continue their work to support job creation and to grow the economy," said Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, in a release. "I am confident he will represent his constituents well as he fights to undo the damage of Obamacare and Democrats' disastrous agenda."
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., said Byrne, a former state lawmaker, would build on his history of working for Alabamans.
"Alabama families know Bradley will work to reduce our country's mounting debt, and will fight this Administration's expensive, overreaching policies," he said in a release. "I congratulate him on his well-earned victory and look forward to working together in the halls of Congress."
Byrne takes over for Jo Bonner, a Republican who resigned earlier this year to work in the state university system.