New Runoff Ordered in Alabama Primary but Time Is Running Out

From Times Wire Services

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered a new runoff in Alabama's disputed Democratic governor's primary between Atty. Gen. Charles Graddick and Lt. Gov. Bill Baxley.

U.S. District Judge Foy Guin Jr. said he would void a Democratic Party decision stripping Graddick of the nomination and naming Baxley the winner if Graddick would drop his write-in campaign. Graddick agreed.

"I'm so excited I can hardly sit still," said Graddick, who had his June 24 runoff victory thrown out because of illegal Republican crossover votes.

But there may be no runoff immediately. Under Alabama election law, political party nominees must be selected by Sept. 25 to gain a position on the Nov. 4 general election ballot.

Joe Espy, counsel for the Democratic Party, said it would be physically impossible to hold a statewide election in seven days and that the courts would be asked to freeze Guin's order and eventually throw it out.

He said a notice of appeal would be filed with the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.

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