Democrat wins Alabama special election after focusing on IVF, abortion

March 27, 2024

Democratic candidate Marilyn Lands is projected to win the special election in Alabama state House District 10, according to Decision Desk HQ. 

Lands, a licensed professional counselor, beat Republican Teddy Powell, a Madison City Council member, to fill the seat. The spot was vacated after former Rep. David Cole (R) pleaded guilty last year to voter fraud. 

The Huntsville-area race was closely watched because Lands leaned into the issues of abortion and in vitro fertilization (IVF) in a special election that came one month after the state saw IVF services temporarily paused after a state Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos were children. 

Lawmakers quickly passed legislation afterward to address civil and criminal liability for IVF providers, prompting some health care providers to resume services. 

“Today, Alabama women and families sent a clear message that will be heard in Montgomery and across the nation. Our legislature must repeal Alabama’s no-exceptions abortion ban, fully restore access to IVF, and protect the right to contraception,” Lands said in a statement.  

“To my campaign team and volunteers, both in this run and in my last one, I want you to know how much your support means to me.” 

The state House district is an unusual one given its purplish political leanings in a largely red state. Political observers tuned into the race to see if the issues of IVF and abortion might sway voters in the unique Alabama district. 

Heather Williams, president of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC), called the results a “political earthquake” in a statement. 

“This special election is a harbinger of things to come – Republicans across the country have been put on notice that there are consequences to attacks on IVF – from the bluest blue state to the reddest red, voters are choosing to fight for their fundamental freedoms by electing Democrats across the country,” she added.