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Republican Rep. Bachus wins tight Alabama 6th District race

Alabama Congressman Spencer Bachus

 (Reuters)

U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus has turned back a tough primary challenge to win the Republican nomination for an 11th term in central Alabama's 6th Congressional District race.

Bachus defeated state Sen. Scott Beason, Blount County Probate Judge David Standridge and political newcomer Al Mickle of Alabaster in Tuesday's primary.

In November, Bachus will face Penny Huggins Bailey, a retired Air Force colonel who won the Democratic primary over attorney William Barnes.

Bachus faced one of his toughest primary challenges yet from Beason, but incomplete returns show him with about 59 percent of the vote. Beason is best known for sponsoring Alabama's tough law on illegal immigration.

The incumbent was also hit hard by advertisements funded by a Texas-based super PAC that targets incumbents.

The political action committee, Campaign for Primary Accountability, aired television commercials

Its ads also pointed out that Bachus was under review by a congressional ethics office over personal stock trades.

Bachus chairs the House Committee on Financial Services.

Bachus, forced into the unusual position of having to answer opponents' charges during the primary season, blamed the attacks on what he called a Democratic machine aligned with President Barack Obama. Bachus highlighted his opposition to the president's health care overhaul, which he labeled "socialist."

Aside from Beason, Bachus was challenged by Blount County Probate Judge David Standridge and political newcomer Al Mickle, a veteran and businessman from Alabaster.

On the Democratic side in the central Alabama district, retired Air Force Col. Penny Huggins Bailey of Leeds faced Birmingham attorney William Barnes for a spot on the ballot in the heavily Republican area in November.

The 6th District races were among six contested primaries on the state's congressional ballots. The others were:

--District 1: Republican Rep. Jo Bonner of Mobile was opposed by real estate agent Pete Riehm of Mobile, real estate broker Pete Gounares of Orange Beach and Orange Beach businessman Dean Young as he sought a sixth term in the southwest Alabama district. The winner has no Democratic opposition in the fall.

--District 4: State Rep. Daniel Boman of Sulligent and Rick Neighbors of Franklin County, who is running his first campaign, competed for the Democratic nomination to face Republican Rep. Robert Aderholt of Haleyville, who is seeking a ninth term representing north-central Alabama in Congress.

--District 5: In the Tennessee Valley, first-term Rep. Mo Brooks of Huntsville tried to stave off a challenge in the Republican primary from Dr. Parker Griffith, a former Democrat whom Brooks unseated two years ago.

--District 7: Nuclear industry consultant Phil Norris of Birmingham and businessman Don Chamberlain of Selma, who made his third run for Congress, sought the Republican nomination to oppose first-term Rep. Terri Sewell, Alabama's only Democrat and only black in Congress. The district stretches from inner-city Birmingham to the rural Black Belt region of west Alabama.

Sewell; Aderholt; five-term Republican Rep. Mike Rogers of east Alabama's District 3; and first-term GOP Rep. Martha Roby of District 2 in southeast Alabama didn't have any opposition in the primary.

Roby and Rogers and the winner of the 5th District race will have Democratic opponents in November.