By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill made the latest announcement on Facebook. Sec. Merrill said, “I am very excited to announce that Republican Presidential hopeful United States Senator Ted Cruz from Texas will be the keynote speaker at the annual Lincoln-Reagan Dinner at The Zone in Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa on Tuesday, August 25!”
Sec. Merrill said that sponsorships and tickets are available by contacting Jim Zeanah at [email protected]
Senator Ted Cruz said on his website, “From the dawn of this country, at every stage America has enjoyed God’s providential blessing. The power of the American people when we rise up and stand for liberty knows no bounds. Together, we can restore that shining city on a hill that is the United States of America.”
Senator Cruz said in a recent speech that religious liberty could be the biggest issue of this race and that, “Religious liberty has never been more threatened in America than right now today.” Cruz defended Indiana’s Religious Liberty bill that was lampooned by many in the media. “I think Indiana was, as Ronald Reagan put it, ‘a time for choosing.’” Cruz said. “More than a few Republicans, sadly, even more than a few Republicans running for president in 2016, chose that moment somehow to go rearrange their sock drawer. I’ll tell you this, I will never, ever, ever shy away from standing up and defending religious liberty, ever.”
The passage of SB 240 created a Southeastern Presidential Primary. The bill moves the presidential primary election date in Alabama from March 8, 2016 to March 1, 2016 aligning Alabama’s presidential primary with other southern states such as Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia, Texas, Virginia, and Oklahoma. The candidates from both parties (Republican and Democratic) that emerges with the most delegates from that date has enormous momentum going forward in the Primary season. The Southeast Primary does not diminish the importance of the Iowa Caucus (February 1 for Democrats and February 2 for Republicans), New Hampshire Primary (February 9), Nevada Caucus (February 4), and South Carolina Primary (February 20). Colorado, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Vermont join most of the South on Super Tuesday. Even with a 16 (and climbing) GOP field to be viable moving forward on March 2 you probably need to be in the top 3 in delegate count. With fewer candidates, the Democratic field could be even thinner.
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum was campaigning for votes in Montgomery, Alabama last week. Dr. Ben Carson spoke to the Grid Iron Men’s Conference in Birmingham on Saturday and will return to the Birmingham/Hoover area on June 28 for an event at Briarwood Presbyterian Church at 6:00 pm. Carson is also this week’s Alabama Republican Party’s teleconference guest. Many more Presidential candidates will visit Alabama between now and March 1.
(Original reporting by National Review’s Alexis Levinson contributed to this report.)