- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 2, 2016

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Latest on Alabama’s primary voting (all times local):

11:15 p.m.

Democrat Ron Crumpton will face off against Sen. Richard Shelby in the November general election.

Crumpton won 55 percent of votes over Democratic challenger Charles Nana with 86 percent of precincts reporting during Tuesday’s primary.

Shelby, who is seeking his sixth term in office, is expected to easily defeat Crumpton in the heavily Republican state.

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10:45 p.m.

Alabama voters have approved of a proposed amendment to replace a retirement system for judges, state Supreme Court justices, circuit clerks and district attorneys who are elected or appointed after Nov. 8.

Sixty-three percent of voters on Tuesday approved of the proposed constitutional amendment with 80 percent of precincts reporting.

State Treasurer Young Boozer said in a statement that under the current system, circuit clerks and judges pay into their retirement plans but district attorneys don’t. He says a new plan could save taxpayers roughly $4.3 million annually.

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10:35 p.m.

Two incumbent members of the Alabama State Board of Education defeated challengers in the state’s primary races and two others - including the board’s vice president - are headed for runoffs.

Matthew Brown, who was appointed by Gov. Robert Bentley to represent southwest Alabama, is headed for a runoff with Jackie Zeigler, wife of State Auditor Jim Zeigler.

Board Vice President Jeff Newman is also headed for a runoff with Jim Bonner to represent District 7, which begins in northwest Alabama and stretches into Tuscaloosa and Jefferson counties.

Longtime Republican member of the board Stephanie Bell defeated challenger Justin Barkley in the race to represent central Alabama on the board.

Democratic incumbent Ella Bell won about 87 percent of votes over Joanne Shum with 62 percent of precincts reporting.

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10:05 p.m.

Twinkle Cavanaugh will continue as president of the utility-regulating Public Service Commission.

Cavanaugh on Tuesday defeated Republican challenger Terry Dunn, a former commissioner who wanted to establish a special usage-based rate plan.

No Democrats ran for the post.

Dunn had accused the commission of lacking transparency and serving utilities over ratepayers.

Cavanaugh has said in campaign ads that she’s used her position to fight the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency and “liberal environmentalists.”

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9:55 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne has won the primary for his 1st District seat.

Byrne defeated Orange Beach developer Dean Young in a rematch from a 2013 special primary runoff to fill the seat left vacant when Rep. Jo Bonner retired.

Byrne was elected to his first full term in 2014. The 1st District covers a swath of southwest Alabama including Mobile.

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9:40 p.m.

Alabama Supreme Court Justice Tom Parker has defeated GOP challenger Donna Beaulieu in the GOP primary.

The victory means Parker will keep his seat on the state’s high court because there is not a Democrat in the race.

Parker was elected to the state’s high court in 2004 and was re-elected in 2010. Parker previously served as deputy administrative director of the courts and as legal adviser to Chief Justice Roy Moore.

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9:25 p.m.

Rep. Martha Roby has defeated two primary challengers for her 2nd District congressional seat.

Roby is a former Montgomery City Council member in her third two-year term in Congress. She has campaigned to improve health care for veterans in central Alabama and to preserve the area’s military bases.

Roby bills herself as a conservative but faced a challenge from the right by Becky Gerritson of Wetumpka.

Gerritson is a co-founder and president of the Wetumpka Tea Party. She accused Roby of aligning herself with the Washington establishment since joining Congress.

A third candidate, Robert L. Rogers, also was on the ballot.

The 2nd District includes much of Montgomery and southeast Alabama.

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9:20 p.m.

Longtime Sen. Richard Shelby has defeated four GOP challengers in the Alabama primary.

His opponents included Marine veteran Jonathan McConnell; former state legislator Shadrack McGill; Baldwin County businessman Marcus Bowman; and former Army Ranger John Martin.

The primary victory is tantamount to election since both Democratic primary candidates are virtual unknowns in the heavily Republican state.

After going decades without a serious challenge, the 81-year-old Shelby spent more money on campaign advertising than usual this year as McConnell aired spots accusing him of being too old and out of touch for the job.

But Shelby had plenty to spend, having bankrolled a campaign account of about $19 million through the years.

Shelby was elected to the Senate in 1986 as a Democrat but switched to the GOP in 1994.

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9:20 p.m.

Preliminary exit poll results show Donald Trump won most every way he could in Alabama’s Republican presidential primary, and Hillary Clinton was just as dominant among Democrats.

The billionaire businessman didn’t have any trouble connecting with Alabama voters. The poll shows he ran strongly among four other GOP candidates regardless of the age, education, income, ideology and religion of the state’s voters.

Trump corralled the largest share of voters who were angry with government, with more than half voting for him. Rubio and Cruz split the remainder, just as they did voters looking for the best person to handle Supreme Court nominations.

Clinton fared particularly well among black voters, drawing the support of 9 out of 10. The state’s white voters also favored her over Bernie Sanders.

Clinton drew roughly equal support from men and women.

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9:15 p.m.

Several Republican incumbents representing Alabama in the U.S. House of Representatives fended off challenges from GOP opponents in the state’s primary.

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers defeated longtime Auburn educator Larry DiChiara in his quest for a fourth term representing District 3, which covers east Alabama. Early, incomplete returns showed Rogers had won about 75 percent of votes.

Rep. Robert Aderholt, who serves on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, was successful in his quest for an 11th term representing the 4th Congressional District, which covers a large section of north Alabama.

Early, incomplete returns showed Aderholt had won about 80 percent of votes.

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7 p.m.

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton have won the presidential primaries in Alabama.

Trump has also finished on top in the Republican primary in Massachusetts.

Trump and Clinton have also won their party primaries in Tennessee.

These latest wins put the two candidates ahead of their rivals in the group of contests known as Super Tuesday.

Earlier Tuesday, Trump and Clinton won the primaries in Georgia. Clinton also won the Democratic primary in Virginia, while her rival, Bernie Sanders, won the contest in his home state of Vermont.

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4:57 p.m.

Hillary Clinton supporters are expressing optimism that they are headed to a big win in Alabama amid heavy voter turnout.

Montgomery County Probate Judge Steven Reed, a member of the Hillary for Alabama Leadership Council, said turnout in was strong and appeared to be setting up Clinton for a victory similar to the one she secured this weekend in South Carolina.

In Birmingham, Lashaun Smith, a 38-year-old health care worker, said she’s supporting Clinton because she seems to be the most experienced and qualified candidate in the field.

“I think she can do the job,” Smith said. “She’s smart, she knows what she’s doing and she’s spent time with the president.”

Smith added that Clinton’s stances on equal pay for women and health care also resonate with her and she’s confident Clinton will be the party’s nominee.

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4:15 p.m.

Montgomery bartender Shannon Thornton, 31, voted for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the hopes of keeping his issues alive, though Thornton says she expects Hillary Clinton will ultimately win the Democratic nomination.

Thornton, who is three weeks from the birth of her first child, said she likes Sanders’s stances on income equality, women’s issues and student loan forgiveness. She hopes Clinton will champion those in the general election.

“Student debt, that’s a big issue for my generation,” Thornton said.

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2:59 p.m.

Dale Crawford, who gets by on disability payments in rural Chilton County, said his Christian faith led him to vote Ted Cruz in the Republican presidential primary.

Crawford said Tuesday he picked Cruz “because he’s more Christian” and “will defend our rights better.”

Crawford says he likes businessman Donald Trump and could support him for president, but he felt led by God to vote for the Texas senator in the primary.

He says, “I did what I figured God would bless me for.”

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12:45 p.m.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said voter turnout in the state looks “extraordinarily high,” pointing to a projected turnout as high as 60 to 70 percent in one county.

Merrill said there were a few minor hiccups around the state as polls opened Tuesday morning, but nothing that directly affected voting or voter participation.

Baldwin County Probate Judge Tim Russell said his county is slightly unusual, as it is home to a large retiree population which doesn’t have to worry about leaving work to get to the polls, but he projects turnout well above 50 percent in several precincts and one as high as 74 percent.

Russell said the majority of Baldwin County voters are showing up for the presidential primary, as there are few local races on the ballot.

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10:45 a.m.

Stay-at-home mom Lindsey Whisenant, with three children age 7 and younger, was thinking about the future Tuesday when she loaded the kids into her minivan to go vote for Ted Cruz at a church-turned-polling place.

Cruz seems like a genuine conservative who values the things she values, Whisenant said, and he’s the best alternative for the years ahead.

“And he is pro-life, which is important to me,” said Whisenant, who lives in the Shelby County city of Alabaster.

Confronted with the possibility that Donald Trump might win the Republican nomination, Whisenant made a face. She said she can’t imagine ever voting for the businessman and reality TV personality.

“It’s not going to happen,” Whisenant said, and then wavered. “But, then, you look at the other side and who do you have there? Hillary and Bernie. I don’t see myself supporting either of them. I just don’t know.”

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8:50 a.m.

Jeanie Lindsey got up early, pulled on her Alabama sweat shirt and waited for 40 minutes in the morning chill in the Birmingham suburb of Helena to vote for Donald Trump in the Republican presidential primary on Tuesday, but she said it was worth it.

“I stood in line for six hours the other day at a Trump rally because to me he’s just the man,” said Lindsey. “He is the one that is going to make the country great again.”

Lindsey said Trump has the guts, the experience and the business know-how to be president, and she’d have a hard time voting for anyone else for president if Trump fails to secure the nomination.

“I’m just not satisfied with any of the others that are in the top running,” said Lindsey.

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7:30 a.m.

Forecasters say widespread thunderstorms are expected during the afternoon as Alabama residents head to the polls to vote in primary elections.

The National Weather Service says some of the storms Tuesday afternoon could be severe. Forecasters say that damaging wind gusts will be the greatest threat.

The national Storm Prediction Center has placed most of the state under a slight risk of severe weather. Parts of southeast Alabama and the state’s far southern counties will be at less risk of severe storms.

Alabama is one of 12 states holding primary contests Tuesday.

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7 a.m.

Polls have opened and voting has started in Alabama’s primary election.

In the Birmingham suburb of Helena, a heavily Republican area south of the city, more than 70 people stood in line waiting for polls to open.

Alabama is one of 12 states holding primary contests Tuesday.

Republican candidates - including Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio - campaigned through the deeply red state over the weekend while Hillary Clinton looked to extend her dominance with African-American voters ahead of the Democratic primary.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill is projecting 38 to 40 percent of registered voters to cast ballots Tuesday. He says that’s a strong showing for a primary election.

Polls are scheduled to close at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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4 a.m.

Alabama voters begin heading to the polls this morning to name their picks for president as part of the southern-flavored Super Tuesday primary contests.

Polling places are open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Alabama is one of 12 states holding primary contests in the biggest single-day delegate haul of the nomination contests.

Republican candidates - including Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio - campaigned through the deeply red state over the weekend. Hillary Clinton also stopped in Alabama as she looks to extend her dominance with African-American voters ahead of the Democratic primary.

Primary voters will also cast ballots in congressional races and races for state school board, Public Service Commission president and in local races.

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