Supporters of Tea Party Republican Dean Young were excited by early returns Nov. 5 as their candidate won more rural areas of the district and at times reported as much as an eight point lead. But as ballots were counted late in Mobile County, the mood at a campaign party in Foley began to sour and eventually, nearly three hours after the polls closed, Young conceded, albeit defiantly, to Bradley Byrne.
“He should be ashamed,” Young said to applause. “What he has done and how he has mischaracterized who I am and what I’m about is going to follow him.”
Young thanked his family and supporters and said they “fired a warning shot” to the Republican establishment.
“The entire nation is watching and they’ve seen a band of people come together and say to the nation and to the world that this country needs to get back to the constitution and the godly principles that made this nation great,” he said. “Y’all have done something that shocked the nation. No matter what happens, the entire nation and the world will look at south Alabama and say they took on the entire Republican establishment and scared them to death.”
Gabriel Tynes / Lagniappe
Supporters were equally defiant, saying despite their disappointment Young ran the better campaign.
“He will remain a true conservative patriot that has a great love for god and his country and I’m proud and honored to have been a part of his campaign,” said Barbara Nipper. “We will continue to seek out men of character like Mr. Young and will continue to support him.”
Phil Wilbanks said Young “did his best.”
“And we did our best. It just goes to show you God is still in control. We have the same principles, objectives and same consistent effort that comes from our heart and souls. We don’t feel defeated. It did show that money did not do what they thought it would. They may have gotten a few more votes, but it wasn’t much.”
Byrne raised more than eight times as much money as Young during the campaign.
Later, Young said he wouldn’t rule out running again when the office is subject to reelection in 2014, or for any other public office.
“Nothing is out of the question,” he said. “Never say never.”