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Wood wins in Chambers, prepared for July runoff

Debbie Wood won the Alabama House of Representatives District 38 Republican primary on Tuesday night in Chambers County with 67.39 percent of the vote. In the entire District 38 vote, Wood garnered 47 percent of the vote compared to opponent Todd Rauch’s 41 percent. Since neither of the candidates received 50 percent or more of the vote, the race is headed towards a July 17 runoff. The winner of the runoff will face Democrat Brian McGee in November’s general election.

“I’m just very thankful and very excited,” Wood said on Tuesday night. “It’s just so humbling to have your name on a ballot and have people go out and mark your name. I’m just extremely proud of our community, so thankful for them and I want to get them recharged so that they go back out and vote in the runoff.”

Wood is a small business owner who has a wealth of experience in public service. She was elected to the Chambers County Commission in 2002 and has been re-elected three times. Wood served one year as the president of the Association of County Commissions for Alabama and she currently serves on the National Association of Counties in Washington, D.C. Wood has four main goals, according to her website, which is to: focus on jobs for the future, infrastructure for the future, ethics and education.

“I’m working hard every day to create a business environment in Chambers and Lee Counties that promote job creation,” Wood wrote in a Facebook post. “The spike in homebuilding in East Alabama demonstrates that our conservative policies are working.”

Rauch is a veteran who began serving in the Army in 2001. He was deployed to Kuwait in 2003, where he suffered wounds to his shoulder, arm, and leg. He was awarded a Purple Heart and then retired from the Army. He eventually moved to Opelika, where he finished his psychology degree at Auburn. He believes in God, is an advocate for protecting the Second Amendment and putting veterans first.

“We have important issues facing our state,” Rauch said in a campaign video posted on his website. “Improving education, creating good jobs, and supporting our veterans. Addressing those issues will take hard work. As a veteran, I know that service is about doing the job right, not just looking for the next promotion.”

The current representative, Republican Isaac Whorton is not in this year’s race after being elected in 2014.

Whorton defeated Randy Price with 56.4 percent of the vote in the Republican primary before going unchallenged in the general election.