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Republicans Remember Chief Justice Perry Hooper Sr.

Brandon Moseley

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By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Monday, April 25, Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan released a statement on the passing of former Alabama Chief Justice Perry Hooper Sr. (R) who died at his home in Montgomery on Sunday. Former Alabama Republican Party Chairman and current US Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) also released a statement remembering Chief Justice Hooper.

Chairman Lathan said, “Chief Justice Hooper was a titan among Republicans. He was considered a patriarch of our Party. When Justice Hooper began his journey in ALGOP, it was an uphill battle but he never blinked. We can thank trailblazers like Chief Justice Hooper for laying the foundation for our success today. We will always remember and be grateful for his willingness to serve the citizens of Alabama. Chief Justice Hooper was a role model for all in the consistent conservative pathway he followed.”

Lathan said, “Chief Justice Hooper served his country faithfully as a Marine and as a public official throughout most of his life. He served as a probate judge, circuit judge, a long-time RNC National Committeeman for Alabama, and later, as the first Republican since Reconstruction to hold the office of Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.”

Lathan continued, “Our thoughts are with his family and friends. Chief Justice Hooper loved his time as a public servant to our state, but his love of his family and friends was his true passion in life. We lift up Alabama Republican Executive Committee member Perry O. Hooper, Jr., his wife Judy and their family with our prayers.”

Sen. Sessions wrote, “I was saddened to learn of the passing of Perry Hooper, Sr., a true trailblazer who helped create the modern Republican Party in Alabama. Through a dogged conviction to his deeply-held principles and plain hard work, Judge Hooper fought and won many campaigns and battles during decades when few elections went to the GOP, first winning election as Montgomery Country Probate Judge in 1964 when the Democratic Party dominated the state.”

Sen. Sessions said, “I remember well his race for the Senate in 1968. I was honored to serve as the Alabama College Chairman of the Hooper for Senate campaign. He was a terrific campaigner and we worked hard but it was not to be. Democrat domination was too strong.”

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Sen. Sessions continued, “I also remember his hard-fought 1994 victory in the race for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. After the votes were counted, he led by a razor thin 262 votes. Then, state officials decided to count absentee ballots that lacked the requisite notarization or two witnesses. This changed the outcome of the election. I had just been elected Attorney General. My staff and I concluded that this decision was contrary to clear law, that the unwitnessed and un-notarized ballots should not be counted and that Judge Hooper was the winner. The case went all the way to the US Supreme Court, and Judge Hooper was declared, correctly I believe, the winner and became Chief Justice.”

Senator Sessions concluded, “In many ways this election and Chief Justice Hooper’s victory was an historic moment for the Alabama Republican Party. After this event, Republican victories statewide became common and Democrat victories rare. This determined man played a key role in the creation of a strong, often dominant, Republican Party in Alabama. He was a churchman, a family man, and a patriot. I extend my sincerest sympathy to family and friends at this sad time. But we can all take comfort and pride in his many accomplishments.”

US Representative Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) said, “Riley and I were sorry to hear about the passing of Former Alabama Chief Justice Perry Hooper Sr. Judge Hooper was a great man who dedicated his life to public service, not just to the State of Alabama but to the City of Montgomery. We offer our sincere condolences to the Hooper family as they mourn the loss of their patriarch and an Alabama institution.”

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State Representative Jack Williams (R-Vestavia) said, “It was an honor and a privilege to know former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Perry Hooper, Sr. The Chief was a leader in the early days of the modern Republican Party. He was an outstanding Chief Justice on the Alabama Supreme Court, he was also a gentleman and a wonderful husband and father.”

Rep. Williams said, “Alabama is a better state because of his service. Our state joins the Hooper family in mourning the loss of the great Alabamian.”

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) said, “He was a role model for many Republicans and valued public service. He was a Marine veteran and a strong family man. I know Alabamians join me in praying for his family, especially his wife Marilyn and their children, during this time.”

Former State Representative Perry Hooper Jr. (R) told the Associated Press that his father has died at his home in Montgomery.

Hooper served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II. After the war he attended Birmingham Southern College and received a law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law. Hooper had a number of firsts for a Republican. He was elected Montgomery County Probate Judge in 1964. Hooper ran for the US Senate in 1974, but was defeated by Lieutenant Governor James B. Allen (D). In 1974 he was elected Judge of Alabama’s 15th Judicial Circuit. In 1983, he returned to private practice. In 1994, Hooper was elected Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in a bitterly contested election. Chief Justice Hooper retired from the court and was succeeded as Chief Justice by Roy Moore (R).

He and his wife Marilyn Yost had four children.

 

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with eight and a half years at Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook. Brandon is a native of Moody, Alabama, a graduate of Auburn University, and a seventh generation Alabamian.

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Health

“An overstep”: Lieutenant governor bemoans governor’s statewide mask order

“Issuing a statewide face mask mandate, however, is an overstep that infringes upon the property rights of business owners and the ability of individuals to make their own health decisions,” Alabama’s lieutenant governor said.

Eddie Burkhalter

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Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth speaks during a video message. (LT. GOV.'S OFFICE)

Within minutes of Gov. Kay Ivey’s announcement Wednesday of her decision to issue a statewide face mask order, which goes into effect Thursday at 5 p.m., Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth came out against the measure. 

U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, however issued a statement in support of Ivey’s decision, which Jones said was evidence that Ivey was clearly following advice from health care professionals.

New cases, deaths and hospitalizations due to coronavirus have continued to surge in recent weeks, worrying public health experts as the supply of available intensive care beds stateside continues to dwindle. 

Ainsworth, who’s battled Ivey on COVID-19 matters several times throughout the pandemic, said in a statement after Ivey’s announcement that he encourages the wearing of masks and social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19, but that he’s against a statewide order to do so. 

“Issuing a statewide face mask mandate, however, is an overstep that infringes upon the property rights of business owners and the ability of individuals to make their own health decisions,” Ainsworth said. “In addition, it imposes a one-size-fits-all, big government requirement on counties that currently have low to moderate infection rates and little need for such a mandate.”

“Masks should be worn to combat further outbreaks, and while I admire Gov. Ivey’s leadership and her on-going efforts, I also believe a statewide order is the wrong way to go about encouraging their use,” Ainsworth continued. 

Jones, however,  sees the decision as a necessary step to slow the spread of the deadly virus, which has killed at least 1,183 Alabamians so far. 

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“Governor Ivey did the right thing today by enacting a statewide mask policy. Unlike her counterparts in other Deep South states, Governor Ivey is clearly following the advice of health care professionals. Many Alabama communities in COVID-19 hotspots have already taken this step, which will help limit the spread of this virus and reduce the strain on our struggling hospitals and health care workers, and it just makes sense to do it on a statewide basis,” Jones said in a statement. “We all want to move past this deadly, disruptive pandemic. By taking the simple steps of wearing a mask and social distancing, we can each do our part to protect lives and livelihoods.”

Ainsworth early on during the pandemic urged a more strong response from the state government, then after Ivey’s series of more restrictive measures, Ainsworth flipped and began pushing for a reopening of the state’s economy despite Alabama not meeting the White House’s recommendations of declining cases for at least two weeks.

Ainsworth on June 23 announced that a staff member had tested positive for COVID-19, and that all his staffers were being tested for the virus.

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Health

Advocates warn of “imminent outbreaks” in nursing homes as cases spike

About three-quarters of all cases in U.S. nursing homes have occurred in counties where the 7-day average rate of new cases of COVID-19 was more than 3.59 per 100,000 people. The statewide 7-day average in Alabama was 34.41 new cases per day per 100,000 as of Tuesday.

Micah Danney

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(STOCK PHOTO)

Alabama’s nursing homes face dramatic increases in new novel coronavirus cases if current trends continue, according to two national organizations that are asking governors for “urgent attention and support.”

The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living sent a letter to the National Governors Association on Tuesday warning of the danger posed to long-term care facilities in places where new cases are surging.

Given the fact that the level of COVID in the community surrounding a nursing home is a leading indicator of cases in the facility, the major spikes of COVID cases in many states comes at a very challenging time as many states plan the reopening of long-term care facilities and return of visitations from loved ones,” the letter stated.

It cited research by Harvard Medical School, Brown University’s School of Public Health and University of Chicago that showed that a high rate of spread in a nursing home’s surrounding community is the primary factor in whether there is an outbreak at a facility.

About three-quarters of all cases in U.S. nursing homes have occurred in counties where the 7-day average rate of new cases of COVID-19 was more than 3.59 per 100,000 people. The statewide 7-day average in Alabama was 34.41 new cases per day per 100,000 as of Tuesday.

In Jefferson County, which has the most residents of any county in the state, the average number of new cases per day has been more than 200 per day in the last week. Per 100,000 people that is roughly 38.21 cases per day per 100,000 people.

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Two other of the state’s largest counties, Madison and Mobile, also broke 100 average new daily cases last week.

There are 231 nursing homes in Alabama. So far, 195 have reported at least one resident or employee who have tested positive for the virus. Some still have infected residents and others are reported to be COVID-free.

As of Wednesday, 1,183 people in the state have died of COVID-19. The death toll increased by 87 in the last two days alone. Of those who have died from COVID-19 in Alabama, 931 — or 79 percent — have been seniors 65 or older.

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John Matson, director of communications for the Alabama Nursing Home Association, said that his organization is focused on reopening nursing homes to visitors once the state allows it. It will happen at the discretion of each facility, he said, as there is no set number that the rate of spread in the local community would need to drop to.

The letter of concern to governors said that visitation is important to the well-being of nursing home residents. To do it safely, it made three key requests:

  • Expedited lab processing time and on-site testing with reliable and rapid results
  • Additional support for personal protective equipment — especially N-95 masks
  • Close coordination between state officials and long term care providers 

Matson said the ANHA supports the letter and is in a good position to get the support it needs.

“We’re fortunate to have a strong working relationship with Gov. Ivey’s office,” he said.

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Elections

Jones urges voters to select him over Tuberville

“The choice before the voters is an unprepared hyper-partisan that will add to the divide in Washington, or my proven track-record to find common ground and get things done,” Jones said.

Brandon Moseley

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Then-candidate Doug Jones during his election night party in December 2017. (CHIP BROWNLEE/APR)

Incumbent U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, urged Alabama voters to re-elect him after Republican primary voters selected former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville to be their Senate nominee heading toward the November general election.

“When I was elected, I promised the people of Alabama that I would put their interests first to find common ground and get things done for our state,” Jones said in a statement. “Washington already has plenty of people who fight along partisan lines and nothing much seems to get done.”

“I’ve passed seventeen bipartisan bills signed into law by President Trump and was honored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce three times for my record of bipartisanship, leadership and pro-business support,” Jones continued. “Working across the aisle, we repealed the tax on Gold Star widows after more than twenty years of partisan bickering kept thousands of families from earning the benefits they were promised. We secured relief for farmers in the Wiregrass hit hard by hurricanes and tornadoes. We’re investing in rural hospitals that, without Medicaid expansion, continue to struggle despite their importance to many Alabama communities. I will always protect health care for our seniors and people with pre-existing conditions.”

“That’s the record I will present to the people of Alabama at a time when our country and our state face multiple crises,” Jones claimed. “We are not out of the woods yet but every step of the way I will have your back and no one else’s. The choice before the voters is an unprepared hyper-partisan that will add to the divide in Washington, or my proven track-record to find common ground and get things done. We can choose One Alabama and continue to move Alabama forward together and work for better health care, support our veterans, and bring back jobs from overseas.”

The Alabama Democratic Party, which has been torn by internal strife for years but recently came under new leadership after the former chair was removed from her post, is promising to marshal their resources to re-elect Jones.

“Tommy Tuberville just won the Republican runoff to take on Doug Jones this fall,” the ADP said in a statement. “Help us welcome him to the race like Nick Saban (not Lou, Mr. President) did in his last Iron Bowl.”

Democrats are trying to convince volunteers and donors that the Senate rate is winnable.

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“Doug Jones is tied 46-46,” the ADP claimed. “Let’s help him win. Pitch in and help us beat Tommy Tuberville, the guy who said he “wouldn’t have a clue” how to deal with the Coronavirus. Want a Senator who’s actually had an original thought to bring people together and get things done? Then Doug Jones is your Senator. Help us re-elect him now.”

The ADP is citing a recent poll showing Tuberville leading Jones 47 to 43. The same internal polling showed Jones pulling even if there is heavy Black turnout and over 90 percent of Black voters break to Jones on election day.

The former college football coach took time in his victory speech to address his general election opponent.

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“Democrat Doug Jones is running for reelection with the slogan of One Alabama,” Tuberville said. “Well, you can make no mistake about it: what Doug really means is One Liberal Alabama.”

Tuberville accused Jones of taking “marching orders from Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and bartender AOC,” and criticized Jones for voting against the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh and to “impeach Trump.”

Technically Senators do not vote to impeach or not to impeach. That is a matter for the House of Representatives, of which Jones is not a member. The Senators vote, after a president has been impeached by the House, on whether to convict or not to convict. Jones voted to convict Trump on two articles of impeachment brought by the House.

Tuberville won the Republican primary runoff with 61 percent of the vote, besting former U.S. Attorney General and Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, who received 39 percent.

Legendary Democratic strategist James Carville has called the Tuberville and Jones race “a tossup.”

Jones is the only Democrat to win any statewide political race since 2008. Jones beat former Chief Justice Roy Moore in a 2017 special election to fill the vacancy created when Trump appointed Sessions as attorney general.

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Elections

Mark Gidley announces run for Rep. Becky Nordgren’s House seat

Brandon Moseley

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The Alabama State House at 11 South Union Street in Montgomery. (APR)

Republican voters in Etowah County went to the polls and elected State Rep. Becky Nordgren, R-Gadsden, as their nominee for revenue commissioner, defeating Jeff Overstreet in the Republican primary runoff.

No Democrat qualified for the seat, so Nordgren will likely be the commissioner once the current commissioner’s term runs out. At that time, the governor will call a special election to fill Nordgren’s soon-to-be vacant House seat.

Mark Gidley has announced that he will seek the Republican nomination for State House District 29.

“I have a strong desire to continue to promote pro-life, pro-family, and strong conservative values in Montgomery as the Representative for the people of District 29,” Gidley said. “I have been a member of the pro-life community for many years, serving as a board member for the Etowah County Pregnancy Center, and I will fight in Montgomery to continue to make Alabama a Pro-Life State. I believe in family values, and the traditional family created in the image of God. I will fight for these values as a Representative in the Alabama House”.

Mark Gidley is a lifelong resident of Etowah County and is heavily involved in his community. Gidley is the pastor of the Faith Worship Center Church of God in Glencoe.

Gidley says that it is his desire to serve this community and the area of District 29 with bold and conservative leadership.

Mark is married to the former Kathy Chapman of Hokes Bluff. They have two daughters and four grandchildren. Mark is a member of the Executive Committee of the Etowah County Republican Party.

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