By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Local political activist Edward Jackson claims that the Alabama Democratic Party’s removal of Darren Flott from the June 3rd Democratic Primary ballot Party shows that the party is inconsistent when it comes to which candidates can be on the party’s ballot and which can not.
On Thursday, February 27, 2014 a committee with the Alabama Democratic Party met in Montgomery to hear a challenge against Democrat Darren Flott. The committee and party upheld the challenge and removed Darren Flott as a candidate for House District 98.
According to Edward Jackson, this meeting was held without public notice of such challenge. They claim in their written statement that, “There are some fishy acts and concerns on why such meeting was held with no public notice, also on who brought and raised the challenge against Flott.”
The State Democratic Party upheld the challenge on grounds that Flott ran as a write-in candidate in the last general election against Alabama State Rep. Napoleon Bracy (D) after losing to Bracy in the 2010 Democratic Primary. Darren Flott was challenging Bracy for a second time in this primary election.
Jackson said in his statement, “If the State Party want to deny someone the right to run on the Democratic ticket as a candidate because they previously ran as a write-in candidate in a general election is ridiculous. Why, and what is the purpose of denying the candidate because of a write-in campaign? The candidate did not identify with a party label and should be allowed to run if he chooses and if he is a Democrat.” “Darren Flott did qualify as a Democrat to run for House District 98 in the June 3rd primary.”
Jackson continued, “The Alabama Democratic Party needs to rethink this decision and they need to act quickly to re-instate Flott as a candidate. If they allow Parker Griffith who left them to be a Republican and then Independent to come back in and run for Governor on top of the ticket, then they should allow Flott to run as a Democrat if he ran as a write-in which has no party name. The Democratic Party will regret this action is they uphold this challenge in its form. I have supported Democrats for over 40 years, but I will work hard the next 40 if God allows, to let people know they are not the party of the people. The Democratic Party is acting just like new born babies with much power greed.”
The statement concludes, “The Democratic Party of Alabama has denied the people a choice on the ballot and their right to choose. That is not the Democratic Party I know. That have told the people that they only want their candidate to run and the people have no say.”
Bracy defeated Flott by 1,447 votes to 1,289 votes in the 2010 Democratic Primary for the seat then held by James Gordon. Bracy accused Flott campaign workers of harassing him late at night. Flott was later acquitted on the harassment charge.
Party loyalty has been increasingly emphasized by both parties. Running against the party’s nominee, donating to a campaign for a candidate from another party, or publicly endorsing a candidate from another party are all grounds for removal from the ballot.
Former State Senator Parker Griffith (D) was elected to the Congress in 2008 as a Democrat, changed party affiliations while in Congress to run for re-election as a Republican, was defeated by Mo Brooks in a Republican Primary in 2010, ran again against then Congressman Brooks in the 2012 Republican Primary, announced that he was an Independent in 2013, and became a Democrat in January to run for Governor of Alabama against Republican incumbent: Gov. Robert Bentley (R).
The Alabama Democratic Party approved Griffith’s return even though a Democrat, Fayette businessman Bass, has already declared his candidacy for the office.