By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Saturday, January 30, the membership of the Alabama Republican Assembly met to consider their endorsements in the March 1, Republican Party. The conservative group endorsed incumbent US Senator Richard Shelby (R) for six more years in the US Senate; while endorsing Congressional challengers: Larry DiChiara, Becky Gerritson, and Dean Young over the GOP incumbents.
The Republican Assembly calls itself the “Reagan wing” of the Republican Party, the Republican Assembly supports the right to keep and bear arms, lower taxes through less government, the right to life, and a strong national defense.
Alabama Republican Assembly President Jennifer Montrose explained in a statement, “This group of conservative citizens determined to ask tough questions on taxes, Common Core, and national security, among other issues. We are proud to endorse this strong slate of constitutional Conservatives. We are hoping that 2016 is a year when true conservatives take leadership in our state and in our nation.”
The Alabama Political Reporter asked President Montrose why the group did not have a Presidential endorsement.
President Montrose said, “The National Federation Republican Assembly put out a Presidential endorsement for Cruz back in August at our Presidential Preference Endorsing Convention,” however no candidate was able to get the two thirds support necessary to get an endorsement from the Alabama Assembly.
For US Senator the group endorsed incumbent Sen. Richard Shelby over challengers: former state Senator Shadrack McGill (R-Woodville), former Marine Captain Jonathan McConnell, Marcus Bowman, and former Ranger John Martin.
In Alabama’s First Congressional District the Assembly endorsed perennial candidate Dean Young over incumbent Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose).
In Alabama’s Second Congressional District, the group chose Wetumpka Tea Party President Becky Gerritosn over incumbent Congresswoman Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) and Robert “Bob” Rogers.
In Alabama’s Third Congressional District, the Alabama Assembly endorsed former Phenix City Schools Superintendent Larry DiChiara over incumbent Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Saks).
For Alabama Public Service Commission (PSC) President the group endorsed former PSC Commissioner Terry Dunn over incumbent PSC President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh.
For Justice on the Alabama Supreme Court the group endorsed incumbent Tom Parker over challenger Donna J. Beaulieu.
In State Board of Education District 1 the group endorsed challenger former principal Jackie Zeigler over incumbent Matt Brown and challengers: Chickasaw City Councilman Adam Bourne and Carl Myrick.
In State Board of Education District 3 the group endorsed incumbent Stephanie Bell over Greater Birmingham Young Republicans Chairman Justin Barkley.
In the State Board of Education District 7 race the Assembly endorsed Rhea Fulmer over Jim Bonner and incumbent Jeff Newman.
The group also made a series of local Endorsements including:
In Lauderdale County: Circuit Judge 11 Place 1, James Irby; Circuit Judge 11 Place 1, William Smith; and County Commission Chair, Danny Pettus.
In Marion/Winston Counties Circuit Judge 25 Place 1, John Bentley.
In Jefferson County Circuit Judge 10 Place 25 Aaron Dettling.
For District Attorney Circuit 5 (Macon, Tallapoosa, Chambers, Randolph) Bill Harris.
In Limestone County Commission Place 4 the group endorsed Ben Harrison.
For the Pike County Commission Place 3 the group endorsed Jimmy Barron, in Place 4 Chad Copeland, and in Place 6 Russell Johnson.
West Alabama Republican Assembly President Joshua Wyatt wrote, “The Alabama Republican Assembly has long prided itself on being the moral conscience and compass of the Republican Party in Alabama. When we have seen concerted and concise efforts attempting to erode the moral pillars we hold dear the Republican Assembly has stood fast, held firm and united the conservative base. As the West Alabama chapter of the Alabama Republican Assembly we take our duty of being the moral majority very seriously. In the times we find ourselves living in today we see a constant and belligerent onslaught from left leaning factions attempting to subvert and supplement our most basic and fundamental morals. The same principles that this country was founded on, that saw us through a war of independence, a war to survive, two world wars, and now a war against an enemy who uses religious extremism as a terroristic tool are the very same and sacred principles we hold dear in the Republican Assembly. So it is with an extreme sense of duty and honor that the West Alabama Republican Assembly endorses these candidates in their respective primary races”: Tuscaloosa County District Attorney: Hays Webb, Tuscaloosa County District Judge Place 2: Jim Gentry, and Tuscaloosa County Commissioner District 2: Jerry Tingle.
Wyatt said, “We hope when it is time to cast your vote and mark your ballot you consider these individuals as the best candidates to succeed in the offices they are running for. For not only do we consider them capable, but more importantly we consider them morally and principally sound in true conservative values that represent the best of what made this country great and will make it great again. Thank you.”