The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday arrested Paul Littlejohn III, the Jefferson County field director for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Sue Bell Cobb, charging him with violating Alabama’s sex offender laws.
Littlejohn, 55, was convicted in 1985 of the rape and sodomy of a 30-year-old woman, according to Alabama Law Enforcement Agency records. He was released in 2014 and was placed on Alabama’s sex offender registry.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said they received a tip that Littlejohn was working as a pastor at a Jefferson County church. Earlier in the week, AL.com reported that Littlejohn was working at Greater Shilo Missionary Baptist Church, which operates daycare on its campus and sits next to an elementary school.
Alabama’s sex offender laws prohibit sex offenders from working or living near an elementary school or a day care, and a violation of the law is a felony.
The Sheriff’s Office said Littlejohn did not report his employment at the church. After the office’s Sex Offender Unit verified his employment at the church, officers issued a warrant for his arrest, alleging he violated the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act’s employment restrictions.
Littlejohn later turned himself into the Jefferson County Jail in Birmingham, where he was booked at 6:41 p.m. Thursday and is being held on an $11,000 bond.
Littlejohn has maintained that he did not rape and sodomize the victim in his case. He says he was waiting in his car in a parking lot but did not stop the incident when it happened.
Cobb’s campaign has said that recent reports about Littlejohn’s sex offender status and his employment on her team are political attacks. On Thursday, campaign manager Landon Nichols said they had not made a decision about Littlejohn’s employment following his arrest.
“There is so much we still don’t know and like any good judge would tell you: it would be unethical to make a decision without having all the facts of the case,” the statement said. “When we have the facts, we will make a decision. What I can tell you is that it’s an absolute shame for Paul and his family to be victims of targeted political attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”
The feature in AL.com Wednesday highlighted Littlejohn as a redemption story in politics. In the same article, the campaign said they were aware of Littlejohn’s status when he was hired, but Cobb herself was not aware of his criminal history until after he was brought on the team.
The Alabama Political Reporter also published a story Wednesday about Littlejohn’s criminal history.
News of Littlejohn’s arrest Thursday came just hours after Cobb called a press conference in Birmingham during which she defended Littlejohn as a victim of political antics and accused APR of violating journalist ethics.
The former Alabama chief justice said Littlejohn does not knock on doors and has instead managed a team charged with organizing outreach and get-out-the-vote operations for her campaign.
“He does quality assurance on the telephone. He does not knock on any doors, but he’s doing a phenomenal job managing our field operation here in Jefferson County,” Cobb said.
Cobb said everyone on her campaign was made aware of Littlejohn’s sex offender status.
“It’s about redemption, guys. I’ve been a judge for 30 years. I’ve seen people do horrendous things. Paul was convicted of a horrendous crime, but that was 35 years ago,” Cobb said. “Since then, he is literally the picture of redemption. He has truly reformed his life.”
The Democratic candidate pointed to Littlejohn’s two college degrees, his management of a halfway house and his pastorship at the Jefferson County church as evidence of his transformation.
“He literally epitomizes, he epitomizes the concept that if someone wants to turn their life around and appeals to the good Lord above for the strength to do it that you can do it,” she said. “He’s doing a phenomenal job.”
Cobb said she personally made the decision to keep Littlejohn on her campaign staff knowing that other campaigns could use his sex offender status against her campaign, calling its surfacing in recent reports an effort to appeal to “fear mongering.”
“Paul actually offered his resignation, and I wouldn’t take it because he’s done an amazing job. He’s done an amazing job,” she said. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the job that he’s done, I’m just saddened that his reputation has had to be — you know, he’s been defamed.”
Cobb’s campaign has paid Unity Group Solution, a company in which Littlejohn is a partner, about $40,000 over the last two months for “cultivating and delivering the African-American vote in the Birmingham region,” according to the AL.com piece.
Littlejohn, who in recent years has made a name for himself in Alabama Democratic politics, also worked on Sen. Doug Jones’ campaign and Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin’s campaign.
Cobb is one of several candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for governor in next month’s Democratic primary. Cobb and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox are considered the two front-runners in the race.
Maddox’s campaign declined to comment on Littlejohn’s arrest.
Cobb said Thursday that she “was convinced” that Littlejohn’s sex offender status was sent to the media damage her campaign, though she said she has no proof of that and praised AL.com’s initial article on Littlejohn — the same article that first brought to the forefront his sex offender status.
Alabama GOP chair Terry Lathan congratulates Tuberville
Former Auburn football head coach Tommy Tuberville soundly defeated former Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, on Tuesday in the Republican primary runoff. Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan issued a statement congratulating Tuberville on the victory.
“It’s great to be an Alabama Republican! Our voters have spoken and they have chosen an outstanding U.S. Senate nominee for the November 3rd General Election, Coach Tommy Tuberville,” Lathan said. “Even under difficult circumstances with the COVID-19 situation, Alabamians were deeply engaged and determined to participate in our voting process.”
With 100 percent of the boxes reporting, Tuberville won 60.74 percent compared to Sessions with 39.26 percent. Tuberville won 64 of Alabama’s 67 counties.
“Tommy Tuberville is a true Washington outsider and has gained the trust of Alabama Republican Party voters to represent them and help President Trump ‘Drain the Swamp’” Lathan continued. “He will fight for the will of the majority who have been ignored since 2017. His conservative positions on the issues and support of our president will be welcomed when he defeats Doug Jones in November. Alabama is the highest approval rated state for President Trump. The combination of Coach Tuberville and President Trump’s popularity in our state puts us in a very strong position to flip this seat back to the GOP.”
Tuberville’s win effectively ended the 27-year political career of former Attorney General Sessions. Sessions left this Senate seat in 2017 to become U.S. attorney general. Sessions was fired from that post by the man who appointed him to it, President Donald Trump, over strong disagreement with Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russian collusion scandal investigation in the 2016 election.
A still angry Trump denounced Sessions as “the biggest mistake” of his presidency and endorsed Tuberville. Sessions could never overcome the president’s disapproval with Alabama Republican voters. As recently as Saturday, Trump said of Sessions: “Washington doesn’t want him back.”
Sessions is also a former Alabama attorney general and chairman of the Alabama Republican Party.
“We are greatly appreciative of Jeff Sessions and his lifetime of commitment to conservative policy and service – not just to Alabamians but to all Americans,” Lathan said. “He is a true patriot in every sense of the word and our nation is stronger because of his willingness to take a stand on the issues and fight for the will of Alabamians. Senator Sessions has earned his place in history as a true conservative warrior.”
“We would also like to thank Secretary of State John Merrill and the election teams around the state who worked so diligently in providing heath care protection to the voters in today’s elections,” Lathan added. “Together, we are unstoppable on November 3rd. Alabamians have that date circled in red and plan to end the tenure of liberal Doug Jones. While we know a battle is ahead, his voting record will be in the spotlight – voting to impeach our president and not to seat Justice Kavanaugh, voting against building our nation’s security walls and tax cuts just to name a few. We look forward to doing to Doug Jones what he and his left wing buddies failed to do to President Trump – end his time in office.”
Tuberville in his speech came out swinging against incumbent Sen. Doug Jones, blasting him for voting to impeach Trump and for voting against Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.
“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.”
Tuberville thanked Trump for his support and called him: “The greatest President of my life.”
Tuberville said he will vote to defend Alabama’s Second Amendment rights: “By God, they’re not taking our guns.”
Tuberville faces stiff competition from Jones, who has raised close to $10 million to spend by Nov. 3 and was not bloodied in a primary contest.
Tuberville is an Arkansas native and a career football coach; best remembered for his tenure at Auburn University. He was also the head coach at the University of Mississippi, Cincinnati, and Texas Tech. He won a national championship as a defensive coordinator at the University of Miami.
Barry Moore wins 2nd Congressional District GOP primary runoff
With 100 percent of boxes reporting, Moore received 60 percent to Coleman’s 40 percent.
Alabama Republican voters went to the polls Tuesday and selected former State Rep. Barry Moore, R-Enterprise, as the Republican nominee for Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District. Moore defeated Dothan businessman Jeff Coleman.
“With God all things are possible,” Moore said, quoting scripture. “This was a prayerful campaign it was a grassroots campaign.
“We just wanted to run a clean race and give God the glory,” Moore continued. “At the end of the day there is a God and we are not him.”
“We spent $300 or $400,000 on our race and they spent $2 or $3 million,” Moore said. “Winning this is the easy and campaign is the part. Going to Washington and facing this issues that we face is the hard part. It is a spiritual battle for the future of America.”
Moore thanked campaign consultant Jonathan Barbee. “Jonathan I love you. You were my armor bearer in this. … This guy did not charge me hardly anything, but he and his wife were incredible,” Moore said. “It did not matter whether it was social media or driving a truck through the night to a campaign event.”
With 100 percent of boxes reporting, Moore received 60 percent to Coleman’s 40 percent.
“Barry Moore worked extremely hard and ran an outstanding campaign,” Republican Executive Committee Member Perry O. Hooper Jr. told APR. “He deserved this victory! I am mightily proud of Barry and his sweet family.”
Moore had to overcome a Republican primary field with seven other candidates, the fact that Coleman is one of the wealthiest people in Alabama and a 2014 criminal case where he was indicted for perjury but was found not guilty by a jury. He also dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic, which made campaigning these past four months almost impossible, and the fact that he ran for this seat two years ago and failed to even make the Republican primary runoff.
Coleman had the support of the powerful Business Council of Alabama, of which he is a past chairman. He also was supported by the Alabama Farmers Federation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Moore had the support of two powerful D.C. super PACs, which blunted Coleman’s personal wealth advantage. Moore was supported by the House Freedom Caucus and Club for Growth.
Club for Growth PAC President David McIntosh issued a statement congratulating Barry Moore the win.
“We send our congratulations to Barry Moore for running a great campaign and look forward to supporting him through victory in the General Election so he can bring his vision for lower taxes and fewer regulations to Washington,” said Club for Growth PAC President David McIntosh.
Club for Growth Action spent $706,068 on the race, and Club for Growth members contributed $95,708 directly to Moore’s campaign through the Club for Growth PAC the group announced.
“The voters of Congressional District 2 had outstanding candidates for their open House seat,” said Alabama Republican Party Chair Terry Lathan. “I am confident their choice for nominee – Barry Moore – will go to Washington and do an exceptional job representing his district. Barry Moore has a proven conservative track record in the Alabama House of Representatives, one he will take to Washington and use to pass the Trump agenda. His love for the Second Congressional District, combined with his pattern of hard work, will be a great asset in Washington for our state.”
“We are grateful for businessman Jeff Coleman who wanted to serve in this district,” Lathan added. “Jeff’s willingness to join in this public servant position is greatly appreciated by many. His desire to help Alabama is highly commendable.”
Incumbent Republican Congresswoman Martha Roby endorsed Coleman just days before the election, but it was not enough to sway 2nd Congressional District voters.
Moore will face Democrat Phyllis Harvey-Hall in the Nov. 3 general election.
Carl defeats Hightower in 1st Congressional District GOP primary
Republican voters Tuesday went to the polls and elected Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl as the Republican nominee in the Nov. 3 general election.
“I’m am honored and humbled to represent south Alabama as the Republican candidate this November,” Carl said in a statement. “Thank you to my friends, family, volunteers, and team who worked tirelessly on this campaign. Our work is not over yet. I will fight hard to represent you in Congress. I will work with President Trump to put America first!”
Carl received roughly 52 percent of the vote, according to unofficial election results. His opponent, former State Sen. Bill Hightower, finished with 48 percent. Hightower issued a statement conceding the race to Carl.
“The first word that came to my mind this morning was thankful,” Hightower said. “I am thankful for my family’s support during this difficult year on the campaign trail. I am thankful for the tireless work of my campaign team as we navigated the uncertain public health circumstances. And I am thankful for the many supporters I knew before this campaign and the even more who I met along the way. While today’s results did not turn out as we all had hoped, it was your voices that kept me going during these long days. I congratulate my opponent, Commissioner Carl, on a hard won contest and I look forward to working to ensure President Trump is re-elected this November.”
Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan issued a statement following Carl’s win in District 1.
“The voters of Congressional District 1 had two exceptional candidates to choose from in this runoff,” Lathan said. “Jerry Carl has worked hard for the people of Mobile County as a county commissioner. That background, combined with his business experience, will be a major asset to his constituents as he takes on Capitol Hill. Jerry has a strong reputation for listening to his constituents. His willingness to hear the voices of the people in his district will be a great asset for himself and south Alabama.”
“We are grateful for the service of Senator Bill Hightower,” Lathan said. “His strong conservative voting record has helped our state. We honor his service and recognize his dedication to Alabama. He is to be highly commended for running for this position.”
Carl will face Democrat James Averhart, who defeated Kiani Gardner in the Democratic primary runoff Tuesday. Averhart had 57 percent to Gardner’s 43 percent.
Incumbent Congressman Bradley Byrne endorsed Carl. Carl also had the most votes in the Republican primary on March 3.
Campaign for Common Sense endorses Sessions, Carl and Smith
The Campaign for Common Sense on Monday announced that it has endorsed Jeff Sessions for Senate, Jerry Carl for Congress in the 1st Congressional District and Will Smith for Court of Criminal Appeals Place 2 in Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff elections.
“While every election is important, this year we have a Marxist inspired Democrat Party trying to undo the Constitution, rewrite American History, promote leaders who say they want to ‘burn the system down’ as well as some such as Ilhan Omar who says that we must ‘dismantle the whole system of oppression’ — really?” Lou Campomenosi wrote.
“This type of rhetoric suggests that we are in a much different political place than any of us have seen since perhaps the anti-war movement during Vietnam — but even then, we did not see the anarchy linked to liberal elected officials closing their eyes and not stopping rioting and looting,” Campomenosi wrote. “The breakdown of Law and Order has never manifested itself as we have seen since Memorial Day when it all began, which means this is a critical election and all of us must vote!”
In the U.S. Senate race, the CSC has endorsed Sessions over former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville.
“For 20 years Senator Sessions served us honorably and as a strong Christian Conservative — he is squeaky clean and can withstand anything the democrats concoct to try to politically hurt him,” the CSC claimed. “His past record includes supporting Obama’s tariffs on Chinese tires in 2011 as part of his long opposition to the Globalists’ agenda. Senator Sessions led the fight against illegal immigration and open borders. He has warned about China’s aggression and worked for fully funding the needs of our military. With regards to all nations, Senator Sessions has long supported fair trade, protection of jobs for America’s workers along with American intellectual property. Senator Sessions is a Constitutional Originalist who has always defended the First and Second Amendments guaranteeing protection for our free speech and right to bear arms. Senator Sessions has not forgotten us in Mobile and Baldwin Counties with his work to bring the companies of Austal and Airbus here.”
In the 1st Congressional District, the CSC endorsed Carl, a Mobile County commissioner, over former Sen. Bill Hightower.
“Jerry Carl was first endorsed by the Board for the March 3rd primary and was recently re-endorsed because in the time since the March 3rd primary and now, CSC has seen Jerry validate its trust in him time and again on the issues that are critical to our region,” the Tea Party group explained. “Whether it was working to improve the Port of Mobile that is critical to Alabama’s commerce or by taking a leading role on the Mobile Planning Commission by saying NO to an absurd $6 toll being proposed by Governor Kay Ivey for a new bridge over the Mobile River, Jerry has shown a willingness to fight for what was right for this region. For CSC, that means that Jerry Carl understands how the other counties in this District work and he has working relations with his fellow County Commissioners in the District and he has been ‘in the trenches’ at the local level gaining experience not only in development, infrastructure and budget issues, but he has also been heavily involved with Mobile’s Public Health Director in fighting the Wuhan Virus pandemic.”
For the Court of Criminal Appeals, the CSC endorsed Smith, who is challenging incumbent Beth Kellum.
“I first met Will Smith when we were living in Florence at the time of the beginning of the Tea Party,” Campomenosi wrote. “We worked together on a great TP meeting on July 4th 2009 that brought out over 1000 patriots to hear among others, Mo Brooks. Will’s background is well suited to this position because in addition to his 25 years of practicing law, he served as a County Commissioner in Lauderdale County where he fought against tax increases and as an NRA member supported the Second Amendment. As a lawyer, who is a member of the Federalist Society, Will brings a wide range of experiences as a criminal defense lawyer and a special prosecutor in thousands of cases spanning his 25 year career. As a member of the Alabama, Georgia, and U.S. Supreme Court Bars, he has handled appeals at the state and Federal levels, which means Will is well prepared for accepting the responsibilities of a Judge on the Court of Criminal Appeals. Attesting to that, Will has received the endorsement of the Alabama Republican Assembly and various conservative groups in the state including the Common Sense Campaign. I think it is also important to keep in mind that Will has been a servant leader in his community, where he has been a Sunday school teacher, has devoted his time to his Church’s Special Needs Ministry, and has been a basketball coach in a program called Upward Basketball. In addition to all of his local community work, Will has also found time to join an International Missions program as a worker. I think you can see from this brief review that Will Smith is ready for this job based on his quarter of a century in law practice, his life experiences as a husband and father in a faith-based community, and importantly, his Christian conservative foundation that is necessary in applying the law to so many different circumstances.”
Polls open at 7 a.m and close at 7 p.m.