The win means that Drake will take over the seat held by his brother, Owen, who died in June after a long struggle with cancer. Drake’s term will run until 2014.
Drake carried the total at the ballot box, with 1,691 (56 percent) of the 3,011 votes cast. Parnell garnered 1,316, or 43 percent. In St. Clair County, 253 voters went to the two polling places, with 191 of them voting for Drake and 62 voting for Parnell.
“Words cannot express the joy I feel right now,” Drake said in a prepared statement. “Losing Owen was one of the hardest things I’ve had to endure, but continuing in his footsteps will allow me to honor his memory and serve the people of Alabama at the same time.
“I’m so grateful to all of my family and supporters. The last few months have been difficult at times and I could not have made it without their constant encouragement. I am humbled by the trust the voters in House District 45 have placed in me and thank them for their vote. What is best for them and the future of our state will always be uppermost in my mind as I work for them in Montgomery.”
Attempts to reach Parnell at press time were unsuccessful.
Drake was one of three Republican candidates to qualify for the special election, and had already been through two separate votes: a primary and then a runoff against Irondale mayor Tommy Joe Alexander. Parnell, the lone Democrat in the race, was not opposed until Tuesday.
According to al.com, House District 45 consists of most of Leeds; parts of Irondale, Center Point, Liberty Highlands, Crestline, Roebuck-South East Lake, Huffman and East Pinson Valley in Birmingham, Mountain Brook and unincorporated eastern Jefferson County; and small parts of Moody, Trussville, Grayson Valley and unincorporated western St. Clair County.
Contact Will Heath at email@example.com.