By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, D- Huntsville, Saturday evening released a statement on Facebook praising Republican Gov. Kay Ivey’s commitment to see the December 12 special election move forward, despite calls for her to halt the election after reported allegations against Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore.
“The Governor’s announcement that she will not meddle with the December 12 special election for US Senate comes as welcome news,” said Daniels, who was elected as minority leader in 2016. “It would be very troubling indeed for anyone to delay or cancel an election — especially once the voting has commenced. And in this case, both parties have held primaries and runoffs and have selected nominees.”
Daniels is the first black minority leader in the Alabama House of Representatives. He is the youngest individual to hold the position.
Not only is Democrat Doug Jones on the ballot in December for U.S. Senate, but there is an important state Senate race scheduled for the same day.
Gov. Ivey scheduled the state Senate for District 26 election to coincide with the U.S. Senate races. The need for a special election was necessary after state Sen. Quinton Ross, D-Montgomery, was selected as the 15th president of Alabama State University.
The Montgomery-based senate seat election could generate a significant turn-out from the city’s African-American community, which in turn could impact the U.S. Senate race.
There had been little hope that Jones, a former U.S. Attorney from the Clinton era, could compete with former Chief Justice Moore. However, recent accusations of sexual improprieties against Moore’s part from nearly 40 years ago may have changed the dynamics of the contest.
“As deeply disturbing as the recent news reports about the Republican nominee are to me and any reasonable and fair-minded Alabamian, Republican primary voters have already cast their votes and selected a nominee,” said Daniels. “Accordingly, the options available to voters on December 12 will be Doug Jones and Roy Moore. Our system of government depends on our citizens applying their wisdom and good sense to determine how this state will be represented in the US Senate. We learn much about ourselves and our values in elections, and this race will certainly be no exception.”
Daniels also cautions against those who would subvert the already scheduled elections given the likelihood of running into unconstitutional issues.
“Efforts by anyone to interfere with elections under these circumstances are not just ill-advised, but they are likely also unconstitutional,” Daniels said. “Given the state’s record in federal court as of late, it would be a poor investment of already limited state resources to attempt such brash actions.”