From the Office of the GOP Chairman Bill Armistead
On Saturday, the ‘First in the South’ Presidential primary took place in South Carolina. Newt Gingrich was the big winner in what is a wide open nomination contest. One thing is certain – this race is far from won and I’m looking forward to March 13, when Alabama Republican voters will have their say on who our nominee is going to be.
Here in Alabama we are focused on our own 2012 elections. Last week, I shared that we had 212 candidates qualify to run as Republicans for state office, compared to only 165 Democrats for the same races. Twelve years ago, when the exact same races were on the ballot, the Democrats qualified 258 and we only quailed 133. As you can see, hard work and smart planning has paid off.
We don’t have all of the information for the county level races just yet, but what we have so far confirms what last week numbers told us – Republicans are on the move from the Court House to the White House. Out of the 49 counties we do have statistics for we know that 341 Democrats qualified for county elections, and 465 Republicans qualified! There are eight counties in which Democrats didn’t file a single candidate and Republicans out qualified Democrats in 27 counties.
Let’s look at some specifics:
* Madison County has led all other counties in total number of Republicans that have qualified for local office with 26 individuals. Only 4 Democrats filed for office in Madison. Chairman John Noel and District Chair Elbert Peters are to be thanked for all their help growing our Party in Madison County.
* Walker County was one of the few Alabama counties that voted for Michael Dukakis in 1988, demonstrating that they were solidly in the Democrat column at that time. However, this year I am excited to say that more Republicans qualified than Democrats for local office. Chairwoman Linda Ensor, with help from District Chairwoman Vicki Drummond, are to be credited for what we believe to be a first. This is atypical of swing counties in Alabama to have more Republicans running than Democrats.
* Clarke County is my home county and I am amazed at what Chairman Edmond McKinney, Republican activist Ivey Griffin and Probate Judge Valerie Bradford-Davis have been able to do there. In Clarke, they elected their first county-wide Republican in 2010 with the election of a Republican Sheriff. And, this year, there will be a Republican running in 6 general election contests. This is definitely a first for my home county and goes to show that even in historically Democratic Counties, Republicans are on the move.
Now that we have good Republicans on the ballot, it’s vital that all Republicans get behind these candidates and push them to victory.