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Travis Hendrix Easily Wins Race in Runoff Election for Jeffco House District 55

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By Barnett Wright

The Birmingham Times

Travis Hendrix, a 40-year-old Birmingham police sergeant, handily defeated Sylvia Swayne, 26, a quality assurance manager, Tuesday in the Jefferson County House District 55 runoff election.

According to unofficial results with 30 of 31 precincts counted, Hendrix received 2,367 votes or 65.12 percent while Swayne received 1,268 votes or 34.88 percent.

“The key was working hard,” Hendrix told The Birmingham Times. “I didn’t think it would be this [large a margin of victory] but one thing I did know was as long as I continued to work hard everything else would [work out]. We knocked on a lot of doors.”

A crowd of supporters gathered for the Hendrix campaign watch party at Ensley Soho, an event center in Ensley. Hendrix, who received some high profile endorsements from the likes of former mayor Richard Arrington and current mayor Randall Woodfin, is from the west Birmingham neighborhood, where he grew up in the former Tuxedo Terrace public housing community.

With no Republican opponent in the general election in January, Hendrix will most likely become the representative-elect for the district, which includes parts of Birmingham and Fairfield.

As a police officer, Hendrix said he’s seen many Alabamians without health insurance and that he has seen people with gunshot or knife wounds at emergency departments who rack up thousands of dollars in hospital bills. Those bills are a big setback for those individuals, who may not be able to pay. When those bills go unpaid, hospitals absorb the costs.

“That’s why I say expanding health care and making it affordable to people — like different plans — kind of make it affordable to different ages so that they can be able to afford health care,” Hendrix has said.

The first thing he plans to do when he gets to Montgomery is “learn the job,” Hendrix said on Tuesday night. “Once I learned the job I will come back to district 55 and let them know what will take place and what we have coming up.”

He added that during the election he was able to articulate issues that he experienced. “I’ve personally experienced those issues,” he said. “I’m trying my best to continue to improve the quality of life for the people of district 55.”

Hendrix will fill the seat left vacant when former Rep. Fred Plump resigned in May after pleading guilty to charges in a federal corruption case.

Plump was a freshman representative who served less than a year before a kickback scandal ended his political career.

 

STATE REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT NO. 55

 

Votes      Pct.

TRAVIS HENDRIX.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     2,303   64.65

SYLVIA SWAYNE .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     1,259   35.35