By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
A letter sent to Republican State Party Chair Terry Lathan on Thursday accuses the self-proclaimed Alabama Trump Victory Chairman of trying to take over a local GOP event as part of “a cheap promotional stunt to further his personal agenda.”
The letter written by Crenshaw County Republican Party Chairman William Morgan Rayborn, Jr. blasts Perry O. Hooper Jr., for sending out a press release in which he takes credit for “the flipping/switching of two Crenshaw County Democratic County Commissioners to the Republican Party,” according to Rayborn. “This press release from Perry completely changes the entire agenda of a local event that the local party has worked on and planned for weeks—a change completely unauthorized by any local party member and with no advanced notice,” said Rayborn.
Late Thursday evening, Lathan notified the press that the event to be held in Luverne was canceled but will be rescheduled.
As Rayborn notes in his scathing rebuke of the former state lawmaker that this is not the first time Hooper has inserted himself into places where he is not welcomed. “Perry has pulled this same publicity seeking stunt before in other areas,” wrote Rayborn.
For over a year, Hooper used various titles to give the impression that he had an official role in with President Donald J. Trump’s campaign first using the title “Alabama Trump Co-Chair,” then “Trump’s Montgomery River Region Co-Chair,” finally settling on “Alabama Trump Victory Chairman.”
Trump’s campaign contacted APR on several occasions during the 2016 presidential race to say Hooper was not the Alabama Trump Co-Chair, adding he had no official role in the campaign.
Republican State Rep. Ed Henry, who was the Alabama co-chair for Trump, took to social media to correct Hooper’s assertion.
“Perry Hooper Jr was never a Co-Chair of the Campaign. That was a self-appointed title. Jim Carns and I were the Co-Chairs for AL.,” Henry tweeted in May.
Perry Hooper Jr was never a Co-Chair of the Campaign. That was a self appointed title. Jim Carns and I were the Co-Chairs for AL. https://t.co/Xl2DD7gzwy
— Ed Henry (@Ed_Henry_HD9) May 18, 2017
A boozy sounding Hooper left an obscenity-laced diatribe on Henry’s voicemail, which made the rounds on social media and talk-radio.
Even some of Hooper’s friends see him as a political gadfly, and worse, a spokesman-for-hire to the highest bidder.
Just a short time after lambasting U.S. Sen. Luther Strange, Hooper did a 180 turnaround and endorsed him. Once Strange lost the Republican primary to Judge Roy Moore, Hooper did another about-face, giving his full-throated support to Moore.
Crenshaw County chair Rayborn said, “Our county party is being subjected to Hooper’s wholesale, narcissistic, self-promotion, with no regard to Crenshaw County or the interests of its residents.”
Rayborn also believes Hooper’s unauthorized actions may have jeopardized the local party’s plans to run Republicans for county seats.
“As a result of Perry’s high handed usurpation, the Crenshaw County Republican Committee will not be attending this event,” Rayborn wrote. “We disavow and decline any participation, particularly, as Perry’s press release is 180 degrees from what was planned by the local committee.”
Lastly, Rayborn asks Lathan to have state party leadership, “address and stop blatant self-promotion by anyone in the name of the Republican Party.”