Travis Hendrix wins Democratic nomination in House District 55
Travis Hendrix, a police sergeant, won the Democratic nomination for House District 55 on Tuesday. (Courtesy Travis Hendrix)
Birmingham Police Sergeant Travis Hendrix won the Democratic nomination for a Birmingham-area House seat.
As of 10 p.m. Tuesday, Hendrix had 2,367 votes (65.12%) in unofficial returns. Sylvia Swayne, a quality assurance manager, had 1,268 votes (34.88%). Turnout was about 9%.
No Republican qualified for the race, meaning Hendrix is virtually guaranteed to take the seat.
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Hendrix said that he’s grateful and humbled by the voters, and he looks forward to “continuing to improve the quality of life of the people in District 55.”
“I’m excited to collaborate with everyone in the district and ensuring that the community receives resources that they deserve,” Hendrix said in a phone interview Tuesday.
House District 55 encompasses parts of Birmingham, the West End and Fairfield. Hendrix and Swayne both said that tackling public safety issues, expanding Medicaid and improving infrastructure would be priorities for the district.
Hendrix and Swayne broadly agreed on the issues but had different ideas for addressing them.
On public safety, Swayne said there need to be more resources for community policing. Hendrix said that he would establish relationships with different community leaders to develop preventative programs for youth.
Swayne said that she wanted to expand Medicaid because it has the potential to increase Alabama’s workforce. Hendrix said he wanted to expand Medicaid because of the effects of uncompensated care.
Both candidates also named infrastructure a priority in the district. Swayne supported increased access to public transportation, while Hendrix wanted to improve roads and signage across.
The candidates combined raised nearly $300,000 for the race. Two-thirds of that has been spent according to the candidates’ latest filings as of Tuesday.
Swayne raised $209,352, not including about $18,000 in-kind contributions, as of Oct. 23. Her campaign has spent $119,611.
Hendrix raised $81,837, with almost $16,000 in-kind contributions, as of Oct. 19. Hendrix’s campaign has spent $76,602.
Swayne initially said she would not accept PAC donations but walked that back in the last days of the campaign as she accepted just over $124,000 in PAC donations, mostly from Leader We Deserve, a PAC co-founded by David Hogg.
Hendrix raised nearly $57,000 from PACs, with Alabama Works PAC being the largest donor totaling just over $14,000.
Hendrix received endorsements from House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, D-Huntsville, and Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin just before the primary. Cara McClure, a candidate for the House District 55 primary, endorsed Swayne in the runoff.
The House seat race has been contentious at times. Just days before election day, a flyer surfaced attacking Swayne’s gender identity, who is a transgender woman. The Hendrix campaign denounced the flyer, and Swayne said she did not believe it came from them. The flyer, which did not have identifying information on it, said Swayne “was born to be a white male and lives as a white woman/transgender.”
The House District 55 special election was called to replace former Rep. Fred Plump, D-Fairfield, who pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice over allegations of misuse of public funds and resigned the seat in May.
This story was updated at 10:25 p.m. to include comment from Hendrix.
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