Chris Countryman ran in the Democratic primary; where he finished in sixth place with just 4,973 votes (1.7 percent). On Friday, rather than support the Democratic nominee, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walter “Walt” Maddox, Countryman announced that he would continue his campaign as a write-in.
“I made a promise to the people of Alabama that I would stand, that I would fight, and that I would do whatever it takes to finally get our state back on track,” Countryman said in a statement. “Throughout my years of public service, I believe I’ve been preparing for something bigger than myself. I’ve made a career of putting others first. And I can’t stop that now.”
“Alabama needs someone who’ll finally fight for them,” Countryman continued, “We are all tired of politicians making promises they can’t keep. We Alabamians are tired of them taking money that’s not theirs. We are tired of politicians putting party before principle, and winning before justice. We are tired of seeing politicians who lie, cheat, steal and using their elected position for their own selfish gain.”
“Alabama’s elected officials need to regain the trust of the citizens,” Countryman stated. “So I won’t walk away. I refuse to be someone who broke his promise to the people. When I said that I would stand, that I would fight. and that I would not give up, I meant it! I will continue to fight, and I will continue to stand with the people as a Progressive Democrat. I will be continuing my campaign for Governor as a write-in candidate on the November 6th election ballot. There are still a lot of concerns that need to be addressed prior to the November election. For this reason. I invite Walt Maddox and Kay Ivey to join me in discussing these important issues during a live, publicly broadcast, formal debate. It is my hope that Maddox and Ivey will take this opportunity seriously, and I look forward to meeting with them both very soon.”
“To respond to my invitation please contact my campaign assistant via email: [email protected] She will be happy to coordinate with everyone to find a date and venue that works with each candidate,” Countryman concluded,
If elected, Countryman would be the first openly homosexual person elected statewide in the history of Alabama. His husband, Bruce, would be the first male spouse of an Alabama Governor, since George Wallace, during his wife: Lurleen’s governorship.
Maddox won the Democratic primary without a runoff; but he won only 54.6 percent of the Democratic vote. 37.7 percent of his votes came from Tuscaloosa and Jefferson Counties and ominously twice as many voters were voting in the Republican primary. Ivey alone had more voters than all the Democratic candidates combined. To compete with Ivey, Maddox is going to have to improve his popularity statewide and figure out how to get record Democrat turnout.
Countryman organized the Wiregrass for marriage equality.
Countryman struggled to raise money as a Democratic party candidate. Raising money as a write-in will likely be even more challenging. Chad “Chig” Martin is also running a write-in campaign for governor.