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GOP chair says vote to select Linda Coats for judgeship was close

Staff Report

MONTGOMERY, Alabama – An Alabama Republican Party committee has selected Linda Coats, who lost the runoff election in April, as its nominee for Madison County District judge.

Coats was picked for the seat from among seven candidates who met with the state GOP’s steering committee Saturday at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel. Of the 21-member voting body, only Elbert Peters is from Madison County.

There is no Democrat on the ballot in November for the seat, so Saturday’s selection effectively assures Coats will win election as judge.

Alabama GOP Chairman Bill Armistead said the closed-door decision was “extremely close” and came after “multiple ballots and lots of discussion.”

Armistead would not discuss the vote totals.

Armistead also declined comment on the fact that two Coats supporters filed the complaint that led to runoff winner Chris Messervy being disqualified as the nominee. Messervy earned 61 percent of the vote over Coats in the April runoff.

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“These were all good candidates and this was a very difficult decision,” Armistead said of choosing a replacement. “But we heard from all of them, they stood on their own merits and we felt Linda Coats was the best nominee.”

Coats did not respond to an email request for comment Saturday evening.

The other six attorneys who sought the seat were Jonathan Pippin, Don Rizzardi, Robert Rodgers, Ron Smith, Patrick Tuten and Ray Uhrig.

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The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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