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Rogers projected to defeat Turnham for open Alabama seat

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AUBURN, Alabama (CNN) -- Republican Mike Rogers defeated Democrat Joe Turnham in the race for the open 3rd District seat, CNN has projected.

The seat was open because Rep. Bob Riley decided to run for governor. Rogers is the Alabama House minority leader and was likely to benefit from Riley being on the ticket.

Following Riley's decision to challenge Gov. Don Siegelman, Democrats who control the state Legislature redrew the district to increase their party's strength there.

Turnham, the former state Democratic Party chairman, lost to Riley in 1998 by 16 points. He also had to heal wounds created during a divisive primary this year. His opponent in that primary, state Rep. Gerald Willis, recently endorsed Rogers.

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