By Beth Clayton
Alabama Political Reporter
Judge Mark Kennedy confirmed in a press statement this morning that he will resign as Chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party later today, effective on Monday.
Kennedy says in his statement, “We will always stand shoulder to shoulder with people of goodwill who choose to fight for progress. The Alabama Democratic Party has a long and storied history, and now, we must face the reality of changing times as we strive for more inclusiveness and relevance.”
In a statement released by Bill Armistead, Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party early this morning, Armistead says, “It should now be crystal clear to Alabamians who is in control of the Alabama Democrat Party – and that is Joe Reed. Anyone who has followed politics in Alabama knew that it was just a matter of time until Joe Reed pushed Mark Kennedy out of his position as Chairman.”
Kennedy and Joe Reed, the Chairman of the Alabama Democratic Conference, have been involved in a public dispute over party control for months. The public disagreement began after Kennedy and the Party staff fired an employee placed into the Party by Reed.
Conflict escalated over budget items, including doubling the travel budget for travel to Democratic National Committee meetings for the Alabama delegation, a budget item most state Parties do not even have. Typically, DNC travel expenses are paid personally by committee members.
Reed was further angered by Kennedy’s decision to open a Birmingham office and hire two new staffers, both of whom worked for the Obama campaign, in an effort to be closer to the Democratic volunteer and fundraising base in the state.
Bradley Davidson, Executive Director of the Alabama Democratic Party who has been described as a “Kennedy loyalist,” has not commented on his plans upon the Chairman’s resignation.