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Alabama Republican Party will not certify Bonner

The Alabama Republican Party Candidate Committee met and voted on Thursday to not certify election results in favor of James “Jim” Bonner, who is running for Public Service Commission Place 1.

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan commented on the move through a statement.

“When our state party chooses to take these steps, it is a serious and rare occurrence,” Lathan said. “We strongly believe that this is one of those solemn moments. This vote was carefully considered and was not taken lightly.”

Bonner was a Donald Trump delegate representing the state at the Republican National Convention two years ago and he has run for state senate in the past; however growing concerns about his sometimes openly racist, including the n-word, sometimes misogynistic, sometimes anti-Semitic, and often disturbing social media posts have drawn considerable attention to this down ballot race.  His IRS problems and other financial issues have only increased concerns that the party has.

Numerous voices in the party have expressed their concerns that Bonner being on the ticket could be an embarrassment that could turn out Democrats jeopardizing and drag down other races up and down the ticket.

“The base republicans ( the swamp) are shoveling money into liberal attach dogs to go through my facebook line by line and find something they can use to let the public know that Jim Bonner is unfit to be a member of the party that produced Guy Hunt, Mike Hubbard, Roy Moore, and Bentler the luv guv,” Bonner said on social media.

Incumbent Jeremy Oden is well liked but not well known.

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Polling company Cygnal warned that Bonner has some traction because of the wide popular perception of former Congressman Jo Bonner and his sister Judy Bonner, a former president of the University of Alabama.  Bonner is not related but benefits from the name association.

The GOP candidate committee had already voted to censure Bonner and urge GOP voters not to vote for him, both unprecedented actions just two days ago.  Party and business opposition to Jim Bonner has grown in just the last 48 hours leading to the unprecedented committee decision to vote not to certify.

The Democrats are running a candidate, Cara Y McClure, for this seat whether the Republicans have a candidate or not.  At this point it appears that Jeremy Oden is now certainly the GOP nominee, but party leaders are hoping that voters will support Oden with their votes on June 4.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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