By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Chris Countryman was the first 2018 candidate to declare for governor, but he was one of the last candidates to formally qualify.
Countryman is telling voters that he will give them their state back. Countryman, a marriage equality activist, is running in the Democratic primary. Major party qualifying ended at 5 p.m. on Friday.
“It is a new day in Alabama. A new chance to bring people together, a new chance to change lives,” Countryman said in a statement. “A new day to break down walls of division and of discourse. A chance to show the world that there will be ‘No Divide.’ That our spirits won’t be stopped, and our resolve to bring a new era of hope to Alabama citizens will not be taken away from us by any form of government.”
“For the past 3 years, and the many years I wasn’t in the public eye, I stood with each of you, promising that I would bring change to Alabama,” Countryman said. “When things looked grim, and when people doubted if I would qualify for ballot access, my heart melted. The truth that I a was a mouthpiece for the voices of the people became all the more clear in my heart and mind. Because of that I didn’t loose hope, and I didn’t back down from my commitment to the people. I ask that those who have supported me up to this point to continue to do so. But more importantly I ask that those who may still doubt us, those who still are on the fence, and those who have been turned off by political establishments on the left or those on the right to give me the chance to give you back something worth fighting for. To give you back your state.”
“To give back to you the power to work with your government for the sole unified purpose of being a ‘Government of the people, for the people, and by the people,’” Countryman said. “Stand with me as I continue to stand with you. Let us show the United States, let us show the world, what happens when the people decide that we are united and that there will be ‘No Divide.’”
Countryman faces a crowded 2018 Alabama Democratic Gubernatorial primary, which includes: former Alabama Chief Justice Judge Sue Bell Cobb, former state Representative James Fields, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walter “Walt” Maddox, Doug “New Blue” Smith and Anthony White.
The winner of the Democratic primary will face the winner of the Republican primary, plus any independent or minor party candidates in the November general election.
In the Republican primary, Governor Kay Ivey is seeking her own term as governor after being elevated to the office in April when Robert Bentley resigned under pressure. State Senator Bill Hightower, evangelist Scott Dawson, State Senator Slade Blackwell, Michael McAllister and Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle all have also qualified in the GOP primary.
The major party primaries will be on June 5.