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Rogers defeats ex-Miss America in Alabama congressional race

November 7, 2018
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FILE-In this Jan. 1, 2017 file photo, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., poses for a photo during a mock swearing in ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington. Rogers is facing a challenge from Democrat Mallory Hagan, a former Miss. America, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018 in the state's most closely watched congressional race. (AP Photo/Zach Gibson, File)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Republican Rep. Mike Rogers defeated Democrat and former Miss America Mallory Hagan on Tuesday to win a ninth term representing eastern Alabama in Congress.

Rogers, 60, of Saks, turned back a challenge by Hagan for the District 3 House seat in what was the most closely watched of Alabama’s congressional races. The district tilts Republican, so the outcome wasn’t a surprise; Rogers won re-election two years ago by a more than 30-point margin.

Rogers campaigned on maintaining a healthy economy and reducing federal regulations, two themes that resonate with conservative voters who back President Donald Trump. He also talked about supporting the military, tax cuts, and replacing the health care law signed by former President Barack Obama.

“We need to find a way of getting back to replacing Obamacare with something that is not a drag on the economy. That’s the number one issue for me, and then right behind it: We’ve got to continue to rebuild our military and strengthen it,” Rogers said before the election.

Hagan, of Opelika, was crowned Miss America in 2013. Campaigning in a district that includes the university town of Auburn, she advocated improvements to education, health care, equality and career-training programs, and she charged that Rogers lost touch with voters after being in Washington so long.

“The thing that I’ve been hearing the most is that people don’t think Mike Rogers listens to them, that he’s not an accessible representative,” Hagan, 29, said during one campaign appearance. She worked as a television news anchor in Columbus, Georgia, before entering the race.

Hagan called for changes in the Miss America organization last year following reports that executives sent derogatory emails about her and other winners.

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AP’s complete coverage of the U.S. midterm elections: http://apne.ws/APPolitics

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