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Parker Moore wins special election in House District 4

Brandon Moseley

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Republican Parker Duncan Moore won a decisive victory in the special election for the vacant House District 4 seat.

As of Wednesday morning, Moore had 1,709 votes (67 percent). Democrat Juanita Allen Healey had 524 votes (20.6 percent) and independent Polan “Pete” Willis Jr. had 316 votes (12.4 percent). 25 of the 27 boxes had been counted.

Moore is a 29-year-old marketing representative with Encore Rehabilitation.

Moore will only be the state representative for the next six months and will only actually sit in the Legislature to vote on something if Governor Kay Ivey  were to call a special session between now and the end of November.

Parker Duncan Moore will also be on the Republican primary ballot on June 5.  Rep. Moore will face Tom Fredericks in the GOP primary. The eventual GOP primary winner will face Juanita Allen Healey again on November 6 in the general election.

House District four includes parts of Limestone and Morgan Counties.

Some have called for ending the practice of holding special elections for vacant legislative seats and instead allow the governor to appoint someone to fill vacancies. In House District Four there has been a special Republican primary, a special Republican primary runoff election, and now a special general election, all of which cost money, for the vacant seat. The 2018 regular session was over weeks ago and House District Four’s seat was vacant the whole session and now Moore will likely never cast a vote in this term.

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House District Four became vacant after former House Majority Leader Mickey Hammon, R-Decatur, pled guilty to bank fraud as part of a wider federal corruption investigation last year. Hammon is now cooperating with federal authorities. Former Republican Party Chairman Marty Connors, state Representative Jack Williams (R-Vestavia), and a California healthcare billionaire have all been indicted based, at least in part, on Hammon’s testimony. After the election of 2010 Republican lawmakers chose Hammon and Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) as the leaders of the Alabama House of Representatives. Hubbard was convicted on multiple felony ethics violations in 2016.

Original reporting by the Times Dailey’s Mary Sells contributed to this report.

 

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Doug Jones praises end of state Democratic Party lawsuit

Eddie Burkhalter

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U.S. Senator Doug Jones, D-Alabama, on Thursday applauded the end of a lawsuit over control of the state Democratic party. 

Montgomery County Circuit Judge Greg Griffin on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit filed by former Alabama Democratic Party chairwoman Nancy Worley, which means that state Rep. Chris England, who was picked to lead the state Democratic party by a reform group championed by Jones, is the party’s chair. 

“This is a great day for Alabama and her Democratic Party. Throughout much of last year, countless Democrats in our state worked to create a more open and diverse state party, while recognizing and being true to the crucial and historic role held by African-American voters,” Jones said in a statement Thursday.

“The by-laws of the Alabama Democratic Party now reflect the growing diversity in our state — including representation for Hispanic voters, Native American voters, Asian voters, voters with disabilities and voters from the LGBTQ community. And most importantly, the Alabama Democratic Party has dramatically increased leadership opportunities for young voters. Around 70 new caucus members were added to the state party Executive Committee last year—many of them young people from diverse backgrounds throughout the state. I’m proud to continue to work alongside a more unified, diverse and inclusive state party. 

“With the dismissal of this lawsuit, it is time that all who have been involved in this challenge, resolution, and expansion of the Democratic Party come together for a common good. Our state benefits from the ideas and engagement of a competitive two-party system. We have now demonstrated that we have the ability to be inclusive within our own party while working to expand the number and experiences of people who play a role in moving it forward.  

“Chairman Chris England and First Vice Chair Patricia Todd have my complete support and I call on Democrats throughout the state to unite behind them as we move forward in modernizing, re-invigorating, and expanding the Alabama Democratic Party.,” Jones said.

 

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11th-hour smear campaign against Byrne linked to opponent Tuberville, sources say

Bill Britt

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A story published February 24, on Gateway Pundit alleges, “Bradley Byrne kicked his brother’s widow off her land,” but the land was never owned by Byrne’s sister-in-law.

Whether the reporter at Gateway Pundit didn’t read all the court records or there were other motives, the erroneous accusations on the popular right-wing blog are now being used to smear Byrne in the final hours of a heated U.S. Senate race.

See complete records. 

Political consultants not tied to Byrne’s campaign say that operatives working for his rival, Tommy Tuberville, are promoting the story to damage Byrne. Random text messages are being sent to distribute the story as well as numerous calls to Alabama media outlets to report on the false claims. State political reporters have rejected the story due to its inaccuracies.

Several calls and voice messages to Tuberville’s campaign have gone unanswered.

The land in question was part of the estate of Byrne family matriarch, Elizabeth Patricia Langsdale Byrne.

In her original will signed July 23, 1996, Mrs. Byrne left her property in Baldwin County to her three children, Dale, Bradley and Patricia.

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However, on Feb. 25, 1999, she amended her will, removing her eldest son leaving the property to only Bradley and Patricia.

On Dec. 6, 2000, Mrs. Byrne again amended her will, leaving one-third to Bradley, one-third to Patricia and one-third as a “life estate” to Dale. According to the will, the life estate left to Dale would go back to Bradley and Patrica upon Dale’s death because a life estate means ownership of land is only for the duration of a person’s life.

Mrs. Byrne died in 2008; she was followed in death by her son Dale in 2014,  at which time the life estate bequeathed to him expired.

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Bradley, who his mother selected as executor of her estate, then filed the necessary paperwork with the Baldwin County probate office to address Dale’s death as stipulated in Mrs. Byrne’s will.

The Gateway Pundit story leaves out crucial details and in its interview with Dale’s fourth wife, Gloria, repeats claims she made that are not grounded in facts.

There is also a false claim that Byrne refused to leave the campaign trial when his brother died, but he did in fact cancel a scheduled event in the family’s time of morning.

The same reporter at Gateway Pundit wrote several stories praising Tuberville and trashing his other primary opponent, Jeff Sessions, calling him a skunk and a snake.

Court records clearly show Byrne acted in accordance with his mother’s wishes as they were detailed in her last will and testament.

 

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McCutcheon endorses Chris Lewis for Congress

Brandon Moseley

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Late Thursday night the Chris Lewis for U.S. Congress campaign announced that they were pleased that the Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) has endorsed Lewis in the Fifth Congressional District.

Lewis is challenging conservative incumbent Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville).

Speaker McCutcheon represents House District 25 in Limestone and Madison counties.

“Many people and organizations across North Alabama have discussed with me that it is time to make a change in our Congressional seat,” McCutcheon said in a video that was released on the internet. “Chris has proven his commitment to our Nation through his military service.” “I believe Chris has the heart of a servant leader and would be a fine Congressman for North Alabama.”

Lewis’s campaign says that the endorsement highlights his understanding and commitment to our nation’s defense and advancements in space exploration technology. It follows previous endorsements of Lewis by the: Alabama Farmers Federation Farm PAC (ALFA), Bgen “Smokin” Joseph Stringham USA (ret), Combat Veterans for Congress, Dynetics, Professional Fire Fighters of Alabama, and the Home Builders Association of Alabama.

Lewis is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and the U.S. Naval War College. He retired as a Commander from the United States Navy after 23 years of service. His experience includes multiple combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, service as a strategic analyst for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a decade of defense acquisition experience, and serving as Contract Transition Team Lead for Arnold Engineering Development Complex, Arnold Air Force Base.

Brooks’ outspoken conservative views and his role as a founding member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus has earned him criticism from some Republicans. Brooks has represented the Fifth Congressional District for five terms. He ran for U.S. Senate in the U.S. Senate special election in 2017; but finished third behind former Chief Justice Roy Moore and appointed Senator Luther Strange in the special Republican primary. Brooks was a staunch supporter of Sen. Ted Criz (R-Texas) in the 2016 presidential primary; but has been a strong supporter of Pres. Trump’s agenda in the House and a fierce opponent of efforts by House Democrats to impeach the President.

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President Donald J. Trump has endorsed Brooks.

The President said on Twitter: ”@MoInTheHouse Brooks is running for Congress in the Great State of Alabama. He is a huge supporter of the #MAGA Agenda. Mo fully supports Securing our Border w/the WALL, he Loves our Military & Vets, & is Strong on the #2A. Mo has my Complete Endorsement!”

The Fifth Congressional District had been in Democratic hands until Brooks challenged incumbent Congressman Parker Griffith (D-Huntsville) and Griffith responded by switching to the Republican Party. He was defeated by Brooks in the Republican primary in 2010.

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The Republican primary is on March 3. This is likely a winner take all primary as no Democrat qualified to run in the Fifth Congressional District.

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Litaker challenges opponent to pledge to not run for another office in 2022

Brandon Moseley

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Thursday, candidate for President of the Alabama Public Service Commission Dr. Robin Litaker (R) pledged not to run as a candidate for another office while she is PSC President and challenged her opponent, incumbent Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh (R) to make the same pledge.

“When I announced my candidacy for the President of the Alabama Public Service Commission, it was because I recognized the need for true leadership at the PSC; leadership my opponent fails to deliver,” Litaker said. “I know that a person who holds public office must be someone who puts the people above self-preservation.”

Cavanaugh ran for Lt. Governor in 2018, narrowly losing the Republican primary to State Representative Will Ainsworth (R-Guntersville).

“The President of the PSC must not be someone who is thinking only of the next political office for which they will be a candidate,” Litaker added. “Today, I am announcing my promise to the people of Alabama that I will not seek another elective office during my first term as the President of the Alabama Public Service Commission. Let me be specific, after I am elected in 2020, I will not run for another political office in 2022. I will work full-time for you and you alone. I challenge my opponent to make the same promise to the people of Alabama. This she will not do because she knows that she never stops thinking about the next office for which she will run.”

“Two years ago, I sought to be a member of the PSC,” Litaker said. “Two years ago, my opponent sought two statewide offices. For a while she ran for governor. Then, when she realized that she couldn’t win that race, she ran for lieutenant governor. Running for office is the only job to which she is fully committed. The president of the PSC must work each day to ensure ratepayers are being treated fairly. Protecting consumers is supposed to be the chief responsibility of the PSC president, not overcharging them in order to score political points. The ratepayers of Alabama deserve a full-time President of the Public Service Commission, not a full-time candidate.”

Litaker is a retired educator with over 32 years of experience in the public school system of Alabama both as a teacher and administrator. She spent 25 years of that time in the classroom working with students both in the Mobile County Public School System and the Hoover City School System.

Litaker has served on numerous state, regional and national boards. She has been president and executive director of several state education associations. Robin has experience working with the public, legislators, governors and business leaders. After retirement Robin attended the Birmingham School of Law. She works for an educational software company.

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Litaker says that she is a devout Christian who believes that God’s calling for her has been to serve people. She says that she now wants to focus on helping all citizens of Alabama by being your next Public Service Commissioner.

Cavanaugh has worked at the Republican National Committee, served a Co-Chief of Staff for Alabama Governor Bob Riley (R), and as the first woman in Alabama history to Chair a major state political party. In 2008 Cavanaugh ran for PSC President against former Lt. Governor Lucy Baxley. She narrowly lost that race. In 2010 she was elected to the PSC as a commissioner. In 2012 she defeated Baxley, then the incumbent. In 2016 Cavanaugh was re-elected. The PSC does not have term limits like other constitutional offices in Alabama.

The Republican primary is on March 3.

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