By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Republicans were quick to react to the appointment of a new Democratic opponent, Circuit Judge Robert Vance, in the battle for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.
Former Chief Justice Roy Moore said, “ “I’ve always heard that it is wrong to change horses in the middle of a stream. It now appears that the Democratic Party is trying to change candidates at the end of this race for Chief Justice, and that too is simply wrong. The people of Alabama won’t be fooled. The last time the Democrats tried this in Alabama it failed and this will too.”
The Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, Bill Armistead agreed, “Alabama voters are smarter than this, Chairman Kennedy. They will not be force-fed another liberal judge, especially when a consistent conservative such as Judge Roy Moore is on the ballot.”
Alabama Democratic Party Chairman Mark Kennedy was much more upbeat: “We are thrilled that Judge Vance has stepped forward and will be our candidate for Chief Justice this November. Judge Vance is an incredibly well respected judge who will serve us proudly in the upcoming election and, most importantly, serve all the people of Alabama on the court.”
Chairman Armistead said, “Mark Kennedy has also shown, once again, his affinity for Obama and insistence that all Alabama Democrats embrace and support the most liberal President this country has ever seen. Judge Vance’s wife, Joyce Vance, is an Obama appointed U.S. Attorney in north Alabama, so there is no question this is an ‘Obama approved’ decision. I have to wonder what kinds of promises have been made to Kennedy by the White House in return for putting the Obama administration’s choice on the ballot.
Roy Moore’s campaign manager Rich Hobson said, “We are prepared to run against this week’s Democratic nominee. Judge Vance’s wife was one of Barack Obama’s first appointments and we certainly don’t need any Obama influence in Alabama’s Court System. We look forward to November.”
Characteristically harsh, the former 2012 Alabama Democratic Party candidate for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Harry Lyon said, “Poor ole Judge Robert “no pants” Vance…you were duped by gay activist former Judge Mark Kennedy to get on the losing DEMONOMIC gay train driven by Gay Conductor activist Al Sharpton to drive into the political wall to your political demise. The Associated Press just reported you were unavailable for comment due to your cowardice as a man and, in my opinion and others, to hide under your wife’s skirt to protect you. Your political life is over with your stupid decision to run for Chief Justice after the political atrocity committed on me, our state and nation. AMEN, COWARD!”
Chairman Kennedy said on the decision to replace Lyon, “It is the decision of the State Executive Committee that Mr. Lyon clearly violated the state party’s by-laws and this, along with his increasingly erratic behavior, have undermined his ability to stand as a candidate for the Democratic Party.”
In 2008 Alabama Democrats ran a fresh faced and competent candidate for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Sue Bell Cobb. Voters liked the energetic Judge with the TV commercials that featured the song, “This little light of mine…I am going to make it shine…..” sung by both the Judge and a child actress playing the younger Cobb. In a state electorate that overwhelmingly preferred Senator John McCain for President over Senator Barack Obama thousands of Alabama voters split their ballot to vote for Judge Cobb over incumbent Republican Chief Justice Drayton Nabors. A lot has happened since then. Alabama Republicans crushed their Alabama Democratic Party opponents in 2010 leaving Cobb and Public Service Commission President Lucy Baxley as the only two statewide Democratic officeholders. Then the 55 year old Cobb resigned her position as head of the Alabama Court System and the Alabama Republican Party suddenly held every state Supreme Court seat.
The new Alabama Democratic Party Chairman Mark Kennedy (himself a former State Supreme Court Justice) tried in vain to find any judge or attorney who was willing to qualify to run for any of the statewide judicial positions as a Democrat. Finally on the last day of qualifying perennial candidate Harry Lyon qualified for Chief Justice. Where three prominent Judges qualified as Republicans to run for Chief Justice, Lyon was best known for being the victim of two separate shootings and an Alabama Public TV appearance where he had advocated that the state execute illegal aliens during an earlier failed campaign for Alabama Secretary of State.
From the beginning, the Alabama Democratic Party and it’s Chairman were unhappy with Lyon as their party’s standard bearer. After Lyon spent a weekend blasting gays, gay marriage, Chairman Kennedy, his critics, and his opponent in extremely harsh language, the Chairman had finally had enough and used the Face book rants as justification to remove the controversial candidate.