By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
The House District 91 Republican Primary race between incumbent Representative Barry Moore and challenger Joshua Pipkin is already one of the most watched races in the State; but now, hovering over it, hangs a cloud of scandal.
On Thursday, April 24 House District 91 voters were shocked to find that their state representative, Barry Moore (R) from Enterprise, had been indicted on two counts of perjury before the Lee County Grand Jury and two counts alleging that Rep. Moore misled investigators with the Alabama Attorney General’s office probing corruption.
Rep. Moore’s attorney has accused prosecutors of being politically motivated. The political blog, Yellowhammer News, wrote that the indictments were a carefully coordinated political attack on Rep. Moore. Normally, the prospect of an indicted Republican would be a potential pickup for Alabama Democrats.
But, if Rep. Moore beats Joshua Pipkin in the June 3rd Republican Primary, the first term Republican incumbent from Enterprise in the Republican Primary would likely win re-election n November.
The prospect of scandal hanging over Representative Moore would make the District 91 seat a prime pickup for Alabama Democrats. But, there is one problem preventing that: they did not have anyone qualify for the seat in February when qualifying closed. The Alabama Political Reporter talked with our sources at the Alabama
Democratic Party and they confirmed that the party can not appoint a candidate for the November ballot, making the June 3rd Republican Primary likely a take-all game.
Joshua Pikin said on facebook, “I will never sit back and let special interest groups or the power brokers in Montgomery hold our community hostage. You won’t have to worry about who I answer to. I will fight to bring jobs to our community and will make sure Coffee County’s voice is heard in Montgomery!” Pipkin has alleged that he has received political pressure from Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (R) from Auburn and other establishment Republicans.
The Alabama Constitution Party does have a candidate, Derrick Douglas, who is trying to get enough signatures of registered District 91 voters to qualify for the November ballot.
Derrick Douglas said on his website, “When I joined the Navy, I took an oath to defend the Constitution. Though my time in service may have ended, I still feel a duty to uphold that oath. If elected, I will work tirelessly for the residents of HD 91. Together we are not just strong, we are Alabama Strong!”
If Douglas does not get the necessary signatures to qualify for office then Representative Barry Moore could win both the Republican Party Primary and the November election without facing an opponent on the ballot.
Rep. Moore has been endorsed by the powerful Business Council of Alabama and the blog, Yellow Hammer News had recently awarded Rep. Moore the title of the most conservative legislator in the state. Yellow Hammer wrote:
“Freshman representative Barry Moore is an entrepreneur’s entrepreneur. He’s a founder or investor in multiple successful businesses, most notably Barry Moore Industries, a commercial waste management company based in Enterprise. Every vote he casts in the legislature is informed by his extensive private sector experience. If it’s about smaller government, lower taxes, less spending or decreased government regulation, Moore’s going to be with you 100 percent of the time. With Ft. Rucker located in his district, Moore has also been a leading advocate for military families. He shepherded a bill that made it easier for active duty military personnel to get in-state tuition, and a similar bill making it easier for military spouses to get business licenses. He also sponsored a bill that would’ve reduced unemployment benefits for certain persons receiving pension payments. The vote that most illustrates Moore’s rock-ribbed conservatism occurred during the 2011 session. A bill to extend unemployment benefits was passed overwhelmingly in the House by a vote of 94-1. The one “no” vote? Barry Moore. In a State House packed full of Republicans, Moore is the most dependable conservative vote.”
If Rep. Barry Moore is re-elected, whether he will be able to serve that second term is likely a matter for a jury to decide.