By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Alabama Republicans met on Saturday, February 22, for their Summer meeting in Montgomery with none of the strife that characterized the two meetings in 2013.
Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead said that they are now the dominant political party in the state. The Chairman warned against complacency. “Our job is not to sit back relax and think we have it made.” Armistead said that Republicans must get out and work to pave the way for Republican candidates this fall.
Chairman Armistead said, “In 2012 we elected over 300 Republicans. 27 counties saw a net gain in elected Republicans.” Rep. Armistead said that the ALGOP went into counties where it has not previously elected Republicans and found success in 2012. Armistead aid that in 2014 the Republican Party has a slate of candidates it is running to grow the party further. The party is putting special emphasis on Colbert, Franklin, and Jackson Counties. Armistead said that some of what ALGOP did in 2012 was to prepare for 2014.
Chairman Armistead said, “Some say 2010 was a fluke.” The conservative party chairman said that the Alabama Democratic Party has broken up since 2010 into competing factions. “Thank God we are not split. We are going to stay together and we are going to win in 2014.” “Once and for all we will be the permanent dominant party in the state of Alabama.” “Not only will we preserve the super-majority we will gain in both houses.”
Chairman Armistead said that the GOP is working each day to elect Republicans and grow the party. “Senator Jeff Sessions did not even draw opposition.” Armistead said however that one of the things that the Republican Party has not done real well is reach out to conservatives of color. Chairman Armistead said, “We need to demonstrate that we want to reach out to those Alabamians.” “Every minority in the state of Alabama is welcome in our party if they will agree with our philosophy.”
Armistead said that he has added Troy Townes to the ALGOP staff to help formulate the party’s minority recruitment strategy.
Townes said, “I am a Christian conservative first because Christ is first in my life.” Townes said that he was o One of the four founding members of the Minority GOP chapter in Montgomery. He is working, “full time in the political realm where I feel the Lord has called me.”
Townes said that he tells minorities to, “Always vote your values.” “George Williams has been a trailblazer in this for a long time.” Townes said that Phillip Brown has also worked real hard to reach out to closet conservatives to bring them into the GOP.” Townes said that there are 10 Black Republicans running in state races this year and they are working very hard in the Hispanic community.”
Townes said that in the past ALGOP has appealed to Black voters by talking about communism, socialism, and liberalism in attempt to go after their heads. That strategy has changes and now they are, “Going after their hearts…We have been telling them you got to vote your values…This is the time to engage them and make that change…Alabama is going to be a red state for the next 50 years. Conservative principles are the best thing for a city, a state, and a nation.”
Chairman Armistead said, that he wanted to take the GOP message to the Black community and that he needed help to expand this. “The Birmingham News interviewed me and asked why are you doing this? You don’t need this. I told them because it is the right thing for you to do.”
Chairman Armistead also touted the new Republican Party Headquarters on Lorna Road in Hoover. Chairman Arrmistead said, “If we had all the rent money back we paid while I was a member of the Steering Committee we could have bought two headquarters.” Armistead announced that the HQ was paid off on Friday.
Chairman Armistead said, “I work 80 hours a week I love working for the Alabama Republican Party.”