Five things you need to know about Twinkle Cavanaugh

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The primary elections are over, but some highly sought spots still remain open due to the primary races resulting in runoffs. One of those races is for the Lieutenant Governor’s seat.

In a highly contested and publicized race; Guntersville-Republican State Rep. Will Ainsworth came in second to Public Service Commission President Twinkle Cavanaugh.

Ainsworth garnered just enough support to tip the race into a runoff election. Now the two republicans will battle it out until the runoff set for July 17 determines a winner.

With that in mind, here are the five things you need to know about Twinkle Cavanaugh:

5. She was the first female Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party

Elected in 2005 as the first female Chair of the Alabama Republican Party, Cavanaugh led the way to building a strong and inclusive state party, encouraging other women to pursue their goals as well. According to AL.Com in 2003, she spoke to a group of Huntsville business leaders sharing her five tidbits of success, “Build relationships, have goals, think outside the box, face adversity positively and make a difference”, Cavanaugh told a group of 40 women.

But her time as chairman wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Cavanaugh devoted a large part of the party’s efforts at removing conservative Democrats in the legislature. Telling them they could consider switching parties or face tough, well-financed conservative republican opponents in the general election.

4. She was Governor Bob Riley’s Deputy Chief of Staff and a senior advisor in his office

Before her election as Chairman of the Republican party, Cavanaugh served as then Governor Bob Rileys appointments secretary, then Deputy Chief of Staff from 2003 to 2004. After losing her first shot at a Public Service Commission seat in the 2008 general election, then Riley offered her another job, this time a special assistant for corporate affairs in the state’s finance department.

3. She’s been involved in Alabama politics for 20 years

Cavanaugh has an incredibly impressive resume. After graduating from Auburn University in 1989 she went to work in Washington D.C. for the Republican National Committee, she then went to work for then Mobile-Republican U.S. Rep. Sonny Callahan.

Returning to Montgomery in 1998 she worked on several Republican campaigns and served as executive director of the Alabama Republican Party from 1999 until 2001. She then took a job as state director of Citizens for a Sound Economy. From there, she worked in Riley’s office, secured her spot as chairman of the Republican party, and began to run for public office in 2008.

In 2010 Cavanaugh won her seat on the Alabama Public Service Commission, and was elected President of the commission in 2012, a position she maintains today.

2. She is a co-owner of two different businesses

Cavanaugh is a co-owner of her husband Jeff’s veterinarian clinic in Auburn, Ala. the Cavanaugh Bradley Animal Hospital. She is also a co-owner of Conservative Solutions, a political consulting firm run by herself.

1. She loves FOX News

When Cavanaugh filled out Alabama Today’s candidate questionnaire, she was asked wether she watches 60 Minutes or House of Cards, her answer: “Neither; in our house if the TV isn’t on Fox News, it’s only because the local news is on or there’s a college football game on.” She also mentioned that Fox News is the outlet she gets almost all of her political news from.

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