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First Votes Counted In Two Races To Watch

Neither got much national attention, but two elections worth watching took place Tuesday: a House special election primary in southwest Alabama and a mayoral primary in Boston.

In Alabama's 1st District GOP primary — the only one that really matters in the conservative, Mobile-based seat — former state Sen. Bradley Byrne and real estate developer Dean Young emerged from a nine-candidate field. They'll go head to head in a Nov. 5 runoff primary that pits the GOP establishment against Tea Party forces.

In Massachusetts, state Rep. Martin Walsh and City Councilor John Connolly beat out 10 other contenders to advance to the Nov. 5 general election for mayor of Boston.

Here's a quick look at last night's results:

Alabama 1st District

Since no candidate won more than 50 percent of the vote in the special election primary, Byrne and Young will compete in a Nov. 5 runoff primary to succeed former GOP Rep. Jo Bonner, who resigned his seat to take a position with the University of Alabama.

Byrne, who finished first with 35 percent of the vote, enters the runoff as the slight favorite over Young, who won 23 percent.

Young stirred controversy during the campaign with his views on same-sex marriage, telling a local NBC affiliate in August that he's "against homosexuals pretending like they're married."

Byrne, a former candidate for governor who is considered the GOP establishment's pick, has mostly steered away from social issues and spent much of the campaign criticizing President Obama's agenda.

Real estate agent Burton LeFlore will be the Democratic Party's nominee in the Dec. 17 general election, but he's a long shot: Republicans have controlled the district since 1964.

Boston Mayor

There's no clear favorite to succeed Thomas Menino, Boston's longest-serving mayor.

Walsh and Connolly, both Democrats, finished within about 1,400 votes of each other in the crowded primary field. Walsh captured 18 percent of the vote while Connolly finished just below him with 17 percent.

A nine-term state representative and former union official, Walsh's campaign has been largely fueled by organized labor.

Connolly, a former teacher who entered the race before Menino officially announced he would not seek re-election after 20 years in office, has made education a defining issue in his campaign.

Boston mayoral races are officially nonpartisan, but the city hasn't elected a Republican to City Hall since 1926.

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