A case of mistaken identity still looms large in the Public Service Commission Place 1 Republican primary election where North Alabama resident James “Jim” Bonner is being confused with Mobile’s former U.S. Congressman Jo Bonner.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Congressman Bonner stepped forward to set the record straight saying, “To my knowledge, I’ve never met him, to my knowledge, we are not related… I do not support him,” said Bonner. He further condemned Jim Bonner’s racist, misogynistic and anti-Semitic views saying, “I am not voting for the gentleman from North Alabama because, in my opinion, he’s taken to social media and he’s disparaged women, minorities, and other groups as well. This doesn’t represent the best of Alabama.”
Congressman Bonner was joined at Bienville Square in downtown Mobile by State Representatives Randy Davis, R-Daphne; Joe Faust, R-Fairhope; Chris Pringle, R-Mobile; and other public officials from Mobile and Baldwin Counties who also condemned the PSC candidate who shares a last name with the respected former Congressman.
Less than 12 hours before the Mobile press conference, the Alabama Republican Executive Committee voted not to certify Jim Bonner, meaning any votes cast for him will not be counted.
ALGOP Chair Terry Lathan stated after the committee’s vote, “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’s bizarre social media posts and court documented financial irresponsibility first came to light in reports by the Alabama Political Reporter.
Not only has Bonner disparaged women, African-Americans and Jews, he also has a history of failing to uphold his financial obligations while running for public office.
According to the document presented to the ALGOP committee, Bonner falsified his statements of economic interest when he ran for office in 2015 and 2018. In 2016, when running for the state school board, Bonner dumped more than $6,000 into his campaign. That same year, the federal bankruptcy court dismissed his bankruptcy filing because he failed to make the agreed-upon payments — an action that is extremely rare in bankruptcy filings.
These are just a few of the financial irregularities ALGOP considered before voting not to certify Bonner.
Bonner’s name will still appear on the June 5 Republican primary ballot alongside incumbent PSC Commissioner Jeremy Oden’s.