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ALGOP Denies Ballot Access

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—The Alabama Republican Party Candidate Committee met Friday and Saturday to hear challenges to candidates for the Republican Primary in June.

On Friday, the committee voted to deny ballot access to Jim McFerrin, Ray Bryan, Ginger Poynter and Jamie Wilkins.

On Saturday, the committee denied access to Kimberly Drake and Thomas Drake. They also remanded John McKelvey and George Carleton, Jr., to the Tallapoosa County Republican Party, to make a decision concerning admittance on the Republican Primary ballot.

Jim McFerrin was challenged in his bid for Jefferson County Circuit Judge Place 10 by his opponent Gloria Bahakel.

Bahakel said McFerrin should not be allowed to run as a Republican because in 2006 he ran for Court of Appeals as a Democrat and that he had supported Democrats including Judge Robert Vance when he challenged Judge Roy Moore.

Ginger Poynter’s candidacy was protested unanimously by the Baldwin County Republican Executive Committee. The grounds? That she wrote posts on her Facebook page supporting Judge Robert Vance over Judge Roy Moore for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.

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She was also targeted because she has contributed to Democrat campaigns.

Poynter filed to run for District Court Judge in Baldwin County Place 1.

After the Candidate Committee rejected her, Poynter was promised that she would have an opportunity to address the committee again on Saturday.

In a written statement Poynter said that promise was not kept.

In a letter to the committee, Poynter laid out her many conservative credentials, including her membership in the Federalist Society, her Pro-Life work and a list of many Republican candidates she has supported as a life long  “compassionate conservative,” in the mold of George W. Bush.

Poynter said she supported Moore in his fight to place the Ten Commandments in the rotunda of the Alabama Supreme Court:

“My support only ended when Judge Moore defiantly refused to obey a court order. Then Republican Attorney General Bill Pryor and Republican Governor Bob Riley also withdrew their support and AG Pryor prosecuted Moore and the Alabama Judicial Ethics Committee removed Moore from office.”

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Poynter says in the 2012 election she supported, “…Judge Charlie Graddick in the race, but would have supported Republican candidate Judge Malone had he won.”

She said, she, like many other Republicans, placed her support behind Judge Vance as a last resort against someone she believed placed himself above the rule of law.

For McFerrin and Poynter, it seems, their support for Vance over Moore was the straw that broke the camel’s back as far as being considered “real” Republicans.
Jamie Wilkins was denied ballot access to run for a spot on the Clarke County Republican Executive committee because he was a member of the Tombigbee Republican Club who supported Marc Keahey.

The challenge was filed by Edmon H. McKinley, who cites then Chairman of the ALGOP Mike Hubbard’s displeasure with Wilkins’ support of Keahey over Hubbard’s handpicked candidates.

Thomas and Kimberly Drake were both denied ballot access on the grounds that they had run for office as Democrats in the past.

It appears that the most egregious offenses of these potential candidates are that they did not support Judge Roy Moore or they were once Democrats.

Petitions to Deny:

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Jim McFerrin
Ray Bryan (Not included)
Ginger Poynter
Jamie Wilkins
Thomas Drake
Kimberly Drake

Bill Britt
Written By

Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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