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Will Ainsworth captures GOP nomination for lieutenant governor, toppling Twinkle Cavanaugh

Chip Brownlee

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State Rep. Will Ainsworth, a first-term newcomer to Montgomery and rising voice within the Alabama Republican Party, has captured the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor, outpacing longtime ALGOP official and Public Service Commission President Twinkle Cavanaugh.

The Associated Press called the race for Ainsworth. At the time of publication, Ainsworth had 51.49 percent of the vote to Cavanaugh’s 48.51 percent.

Both candidates advanced to the runoff after neither received 50 percent of the vote in June’s primary.

Ainsworth’s victory comes after a contentious runoff race that included heated political ads and attacks from both camps. Ainsworth painted Cavanaugh as a Montgomery insider, zeroing in on her tenure on the PSC, while Cavanaugh hit Ainsworth on a petty theft conviction from his days in college.

Ainsworth spent the last few days ahead of Tuesday’s primary traveling around the state with a fake tiger and boat, countering Cavanaugh’s claims that he had been arrested for the theft of several tigers used for fundraising in Auburn in 2002 and for a boating incident in 2001.

With the fake tiger and boat behind him, Ainsworth said Cavanaugh distorted the facts. He downplayed his 2002 felony theft arrest as a college prank gone wrong. He also disputed that he had ever been arrested for driving an unregistered boat.

While Cavanaugh’s campaign said Ainsworth had been arrested and jailed for the boating incident, Ainsworth released a note from Jackson County Sheriff Chuck Phillips that said Ainsworth had never been jailed for his boating violation. Instead, Ainsworth pleaded guilty to the charge and paid about $130 in fines and court costs.

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And the felony theft charge — a class B felony — was later dismissed without prosecution after Ainsworth performed community service. He was 20 and in college at Auburn at the time of the arrest.

The battle for the lieutenant governor’s race focused in large part on South Alabama, where Ainsworth picked up numerous endorsements in the Mobile area. State Sen. Rusty Glover, who was also seeking the nomination, picked up a plurality of the vote in Baldwin and Mobile County in June’s runoff.

Ainsworth will face Democratic nominee Will Boyd, who ran unopposed in last month’s Democratic primary.

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Ainsworth labeled Cavanaugh as a Montgomery insider throughout the campaign. She spent several years as ALGOP chairwoman after being elected to that position in 2005 and has been PSC president since 2012.

Cavanaugh initially planned to run for governor before Gov. Kay Ivey formally announced her intention to seek a full-term. Cavanaugh switched to the lieutenant governor’s race in August, APR first reported.

Elected in 2014, Ainsworth made a name for himself as a conservative bulwark, sponsoring legislation during the last legislative session that would have allowed teachers to be armed in Alabama public schools. He introduced the legislation after a mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school took the lives of more than a dozen students.

The legislation was met with intense opposition by Democrats and a lukewarm reception from his Republican colleagues and leadership in both chambers.

Ainsworth has branded himself as a Montgomery outsider, promising to clean up ethical lapses among the state’s leadership and fight corruption. He backed Articles of Impeachment against former Gov. Robert Bentley and sponsored legislation that would allow for a public vote to recall state elected officials.

Ainsworth and Boyd will face off in the general election in November.

 

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Elections

Sanders Wins Nevada

Brandon Moseley

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Saturday, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, appears to have followed his victory in the New Hampshire primary with a victory in the Nevada caucuses.

“First we won the popular vote in Iowa. Then we won the New Hampshire primary. And now we have won the Nevada caucus,” Sen. Sanders said. “Let me first thank the people of Nevada for their support. We put together a multi-racial, multi-generational coalition across the state that will win not only in Nevada, but all across this country. No other campaign has a grassroots movement like we do, which is a large reason why we’re gonna win this election.”

The Alabama primary is just one week away on Super Tuesday.

“We are going to win across the country because the American people are sick and tired of a corrupt administration that is undermining American democracy.” Sanders continued. “They are sick and tired of a government based on greed and lies. It is time for an administration which is based on the principles of economic justice, social justice, racial justice, and environmental justice.”

Sanders received 47.1 percent of the vote. Former Vice President Joe Biden received 21 percent of the vote. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg received just 13.7 percent of the vote. U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, continued to underperform with just 9.6 percent of the vote. Billionaire Tom Steyer of California received just 4.7 percent of the vote. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, failed to gain any momentum off of her strong third place finish in New Hampshire and received just 3.9 percent of the vote.

Sanders is clearly the frontrunner going into the South Carolina primary. The self -proclaimed socialist has won 34 delegates to this point. Buttigieg is in second with 23, and Biden and Warren are tied with eight. Klobuchar has seven delegates.

New York City Mayor billionaire Michael Bloomberg have foregone the early primaries. He participated in his first debate and according to most observers did not fare well. Moderate Democrats have expressed concern that the party may suffer in November if the socialist label is attached to its nominee. Republicans are taking enjoyment from the Democrats’ strife.

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“Michael Bloomberg maybe a Billionaire but when questioned by his fellow Socialist Democrats, he looked like a Deer in headlights!” Trump national finance committee chair Perry Hooper Jr. said. “Mini Mike was clear the Debate looser. It is very apparent that the National Democrat party today are controlled by the Left and they are very comfortable with Socialist Democrat, Bernie Sanders. But I think the real Looser is the Democrat Party! The Winner is and will continue to be heavy weight Champion, President Donald J. Trump.”

It takes 1,994 delegates to win the nomination. The next contest is the South Carolina Primary

The Alabama Democratic primary is March 3.

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Alabama Democratic Women to host first Women in Blue Day on March 10

Jessa Reid Bolling

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On March 10, the Alabama Democratic Women (ADW) organization will host their first annual Women in Blue Day, a day where state chapters of the National Federation of Democratic Women meet at their state capitols to speak with their legislators about issues that are of particular relevance to women and families. 

Attendees will gather at the Alabama State House at the Tunnels (11 S Union Street, Montgomery, AL 36130) and all attendees are encouraged to wear blue attire in a symbol of solidarity. Check-in/registration will begin at 9:45 AM.

The day will include a briefing with Democratic representatives, a Capitol tour, brunch, observance of the legislative meeting, and a State Party update at the Alabama Democratic Party headquarters from Alabama Democratic Party Chair, Rep. Chris England.

ADW is a nonprofit political organization dedicated to supporting the Democratic Party and Democratic Women in Alabama, according to their website. The mission of ADW is to “unite Democratic women across the state of Alabama to ensure that we have a seat at the table and that our voices are heard.”

 

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Dr. Frank Wright of D. James Kennedy Ministries endorses Hasdorff for Congress

Brandon Moseley

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Monday, Dr. Frank Wright, Ph.D., President/CEO of D. James Kennedy Ministries, announced his full support for Terri Hasdorff (R) in Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District.

“It’s been said that people with integrity have nothing to fear, because they have nothing to hide,” Dr. Wright said. “This perfectly describes my friend and colleague Terri Hasdorff. With her strong commitment to excellence and personal integrity, and her demonstrated career of effective service, Terri stands heads and shoulders above those who seek elected office largely as a means of gain.”

“I have known Terri almost 25 years, and I am honored to give her my personal endorsement,” Dr. Wright added. “In my judgment, the good people of Alabama will find no more capable, dedicated, and faithful individual to represent them in Washington, D.C. than my very good friend Terri Hasdorff.”

Wright has dedicated his life to years of Biblical service and spreading the ministry’s Cultural Mandate.

Hasdorff is a graduate of Samford University.

Following graduation, she started in the White House Office of Public Liaison for President George H.W. Bush (R). There she worked with faith leaders across the country. Following that service, she went on to work on Capitol Hill for six years where her most meaningful assignments focused on keeping the government and Washington, D.C. elites from discriminating against churches and faith-based organizations. She also worked on the Ten Commandments Defense Act, a bill to defend the right of states to display the Ten Commandments in courthouses and public places, and served as a senior advisor on the Charitable Choice language, which put the Faith-Based initiative into law and still protects faith based organizations from discrimination when accessing federal funding today. Hasdorff has worked on pro-life, and pro-family legislation in Washington. Terri later worked for President George W. Bush (R) as America’s faith-based representative to the world, helping facilitate grassroots partnerships to empower the poor across the globe.

“Throughout my life, I have helped people come together, work together, break bread together, and solve problems together in community,” Hasdorff said. “I will work to bring people together in Congress who share our beliefs on the sanctity of life and marriage, First and Second Amendment rights, the power of the free market, and the sovereignty and the security of America.”

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Hasdorff faces a crowded Republican primary field on March 3.

“These times call for a representative in Congress with the experience, the savvy, and the will to stand and fight and win the battle for America,” Hasdorff added. “I will be that representative. And together, we will tame Washington and revive our land.”

Incumbent Congresswoman Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, is not seeking re-election. Roby was honored by the Alabama Republican Party for her ten years of service to the state and nation at the Alabama Republican Party Winter Dinner on Friday night.

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Doug Jones raises $2.4 million in first fundraising period of 2020

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U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, D-Alabama, raised $2.4 million in the first fundraising period of 2020, according to his reelection campaign, which was $500,000 more than he raised during the fourth quarter of 2019. 

Jones has $7.4 million cash at hand, according to his campaign, which released the totals on Thursday. Jones’s latest campaign finance reports weren’t yet posted to the Federal Election Commission website on Thursday. 

“Alabamians across the state are showing their commitment to Doug’s message of One Alabama and his proven track record of standing up for all Alabamians,” said Doug Turner, Senior Advisor for Jones’s campaign, in a statement Thursday. Doug’s work to support working families, fund our HBCUs, modernize our military and expand and protect our health care is resonating with folks throughout Alabama. We are well-positioned to continue to grow our grassroots support and win in November.” 

Jones ended 2019 leading all of his Republican contenders in fundraising, ending the year with $5 million in cash.

 

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