By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Major Party Candidate qualifying ended on Friday and Republican Matt Jenkins did not qualify to run in Alabama’s Seventh Congressional District. Jenkins announced that he had chosen to end his campaign due to a lack of support and poor fundraising.
Jenkins said in a statement released to Facebook, “America is the greatest nation on earth and I have been proud to serve her through public service since 1999. That public service has been in the US Navy, through work with University of Alabama Veterans and through work as an Alabama Young Republican. Back in September I decided to continue public service by running for United States Congress in the 7th District of Alabama.”
Jenkins continued, “That cause was lost tonight due to lack of support and fundraising in the long term in this district. I can tell you this: the money I did raise this past week was not raised in vain. As a proud Republican in this State, I will continue to fight for the equality of all Americans. I will be attending the vigil for victims of hate crimes later this month in Montgomery.”
Jenkins said, “Republicans like Chief Justice Roy Moore and Dean Young are not the future of this Party, they are the past of this party. I had the honor of talking to Representative Todd (D) on the phone today and although we do not agree on much, we do agree that every American should have equality. In addition I do plan on starting a political action committee in the near future that will help support Republican candidates who support equality. Last I will not quit being a loud Republican with a voice that will welcome and embrace all Americans and Alabamians in our Party.”
Jenkins concluded, “When our founders said WE THE PEOPLE, they meant the uneducated, woman, men, gay, straight, black, white, Christian, Non-Christian, rich, poor, children and the disabled. Every American is welcome in my party, because I represent a NEW PARTY FOR A NEW GENERATION. Thank you and may God continue to bless America and the Great State of Alabama.”
Jenkins campaign was always controversial in Republican circles. Some Republican activists believed that the way the Seventh District is drawn (with a large majority Black population) it is impossible for any Republican to win in that district at this time. Others questioned if Jenkins was the ideal candidate for that district.
A week before the qualification deadline, Jenkins made waves in Republican circles when he came out in favor of same sex marriage. The move led to some social conservatives withdrawing their support for Jenkins’ campaign. Following last week’s controversy, Jenkins suspended his Congressional campaign and instead is running for the Republican Executive Committee.
Incumbent Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D) will not have a Republican opponent but she is facing a challenge in the Democratic Primary from Birmingham attorney Tamara Harris Johnson.