A Bellwether Battle

The Establishment won--but just barely. Striking back against the Tea Partyers who forced the government shutdown, business lobbies, Fortune 500 companies and House Republican leaders funneled cash to former state legislator Bradley Byrne in the GOP runoff for the vacant seat in Alabama's 1st Congressional District. But the political and corporate elite could only lift Byrne to a narrow victory over pro-shutdown hard-liner Dean Young, a political novice who lacked campaign funds and infrastructure. The result suggests that GOP insiders may be in for a struggle to wrest control of the party from the grassroots.



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