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Republican Party will not remove candidates from the ballot

Brandon Moseley

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Candidates are required to file a Statement of Economic Interests form with the Alabama Ethics Commission. It has been recently reported that certain candidates did not file their 2017 statements by the deadline. Under Alabama law failure to file a Statement of Economic Interests means removal from the ballot. The Republican Party told the Alabama Political Reporter that they will not be removing any candidates from the November 6 ballot.

“There has been a lot of confusion and misinformation disseminated on this topic,” Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan told APR in a statement. “The ALGOP has received compliance clearance for all of our candidates from the Alabama Ethics Commission. There will be none removed by our Party as they have met our qualifications.”

“If an official filed late, after April 30 while they had a form already on file with the Alabama Ethics Commission, it is not ballot removal,” Lathan added. “They may incur a small fine but that is a decision the Commission may or not make. There is also a grace period for filing.”

Brandon Craig Lipscomb, a Gadsden architect, is the Republican nominee for House District 30. Lipscomb filed a Statement of Economic Interest on December 4 for 2016. He then qualified for office and did not file a 2017 Statement of Economic Interest. Neither did he fill out a 2017 statement by April 30 as is required of previous filers. Despite this, the Republican Party and the Secretary of State’s office allowed Lipscomb to remain on the ballot for both the Republican Primary on June 5 and in the July Republican primary runoff, in which he defeated former Ashville Mayor Robert McKay.

House District 30 represents portions of St. Clair and Etowah County.

Public Service Commissioner Jeremy Oden (R), State Senator Clay Scofield, R-Guntersville, and State Representative Dimitri Polizos, R-Montgomery, also did not file their 2017 Statement of Economic Interests by the April 30th deadline

In Gadsden’s City election three candidates (two council candidates and a mayoral candidate) were recently disqualified because they did not file their Statement of Economic Interests when they qualified. Two of those candidates have gone to court seeking an injunction.

The Alabama Political Reporter has asked Secretary of State John Merrill (R) for additional guidance on this matter.

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Sec. Merrill told APR that the candidates turned in Statements of Economic Interest when they qualified, although they were 2016s.  The Alabama Ethics Commission approved all of the candidates.  They should have filed their 2017 statements by April 30.  When state officials became aware of the lapse they sent a letter to the candidates giving them ten days to file a Statement of Economic Interest.

Merrill said that the candidates will remain on the ballot; but may be charged a $5 a day fine for every day that they missed that April 30 deadline.  Merrill said that only two state candidates were disqualified for not filing Statements of Economic Interest: a Democratic running for House District 40 and Democratic judicial candidate in Jefferson County, who successfully appealed the ruling.

Montgomery County Judge Johnnie Hardwick ruled that Pamela Cousins can indeed be on the ballot as she followed the spirit and intent of the law.  She filed her Statement of Economic Interests with the Alabama Democratic Party when she qualified; but did not realize that she also had to file with the Ethics Commission.  She filed when she became aware of the error.

The general election will be on November 6.

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Elections

Secretary of State to evaluate all county registrars

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This week, Secretary of State John H. Merrill notified all 204 Registrars in the State of Alabama that their performances would be evaluated following the November 3, 2020 General Election.

“Every agent of the state should be held accountable for their actions – especially those who are tasked with protecting the opportunity for Alabamians to exercise their constitutional right to vote. These evaluations will ensure that Registrars are completing their duties in serving the people of their respective county,” stated Secretary Merrill.

Beginning December 1, 2020, the Office of the Secretary of State will be traveling to all 67 counties to meet with and confirm whether or not each registrar is completing his or her assigned duties.

Section 17-4-35 of the Code of Alabama requires the Supervisor of Voter Registration to evaluate Registrars on the performance of their lawful functions. Section 17-3-2 requires the Secretary of State to prescribe guidelines to assist the State Board of Appointment to determine the qualifications of the members of the Boards of Registrars.

The qualifications are as follows:

  • Capable of following Alabama’s Ethics Laws
  • Self-motivated, reliable, responsible, accountable
  • Resident of county
  • Qualified elector of county (registered to vote)
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Computer skills (Microsoft Office competency including Word, Excel, Outlook)
  • Proficient in utilizing an email account
  • Proficient in typing (word and data processing)
  • Ability to utilize a computer, scanner, printer, label-maker, and camera
  • Map reading skills (understanding of local, county, and state district lines, precincts, and polling places)
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills, including customer service skills to assist citizens, voters, election officials, and other offices in-person, by email, and via telephone
  • Understanding and willingness to express office etiquette
  • Ability to work Monday through Friday and some weekends during intervals of the year in preparation of local, county, and state elections
  • Reliable and responsible for working assigned days as agreed upon by the Board of Registrars
  • Must be willing to consider the registrar position as the primary occupation, and must be available for working the normal business hours of the office
  • Must have reliable transportation to and from the office location
  • Understanding of confidentiality and security of private information
  • Willing to retain and protect private information not available to the public
  • Ability to travel to mandatory training sessions one or more times a year throughout the state
  • Required to be a team player and work alongside two other board members in close proximity in the office setting
  • Understanding of Title 17 of the Code of Alabama, the Alabama Administrative Code, and Alabama Attorney General Opinions that apply to the position
  • Willingness to study and learn daily functions of the office using the Alabama Boards of Registrars Handbook and other guidance from the Alabama Secretary of State
  • Proficient in managing, filing, and storing extremely important and permanent documents received in the office, including voter registration applications and voter file maintenance records
  • Capable of learning to utilize multiple systems of software related to voter registration and the Alabama free Photo Voter ID
  • Must be unbiased and completely non-partisan during office hours and during any point in which representing the office
  • Ability to form positive working relationships with local, county, and state election officials and be cooperative and professional when working with other offices

Evaluations will be made public, following completion.

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Elections

Alabama House District 49 major party candidate qualifying is closed

Brandon Moseley

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Tuesday, the Alabama Republican Party closed its candidate qualifying period for the Alabama House of Representatives District 49 special primary election.

The following individuals have qualified to run as Republicans for the District 49 seat: Russell Bedsole, James Dean, Chuck Martin, Jackson McNeely, Mimi Penhale, and Donna Strong.

The Alabama Political Reporter talked Wednesday to the Alabama Democratic Party and they have also closed qualifying. Cheryl Patton has qualified to run as a Democrat for the seat.

The vacancy in House District 49 was created when State Representative April Weaver (R-Briarfield) announced her resignation to accept an appointment with the Trump administration as a regional director of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

House District 49 consists of portions of Bibb, Shelby and Chilton Counties. The winner will serve the remainder of April Weaver’s term which ends in late 2022.

The special Republican primary election for House District 49 will be held on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. Since only Patton qualified as a Democrat there will be no need for a Democratic Party primary. If a Republican runoff election is needed, it will be held on Tuesday, September 1, 2020. The winner of the Republican nomination will face Ms. Patton in the special general election to be held on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, two weeks after the general election on November 3.

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Elections

Coastal 150 endorses Jerry Carl for Congress

Brandon Moseley

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Wednesday, Coastal 150 announces their endorsement of Republican Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl for Alabama’s First Congressional District.

Wiley Blankenship is the Executive Director of Coastal 150.

“Our members believe that Jerry Carl is the right person to serve our region in Congress.” Blankenship said. “He understands our unique needs and supports our shared vision for coastal Alabama. We expect that Mr. Carl will represent Coastal Alabama well and look forward to working with him in Washington. “The experience, character and leadership that he brings to the office is what we believe is necessary to solve the challenges facing our region and our nation. “

“In case you missed it, our campaign has picked up some huge endorsements recently,” Carl said. “t’s an honor to be endorsed by these well-respected conservative leaders who know that I will fight for south Alabama in Congress.”

Carl has also been endorsed by the Alabama Farmers Federation, former State Representative Chris Pringle, and Wes Lambert.

Jerry Carl was born in Mobile, started his first company at the age of 25 and grew that small business into numerous other companies throughout the region. In all, Jerry has started over ten different companies ranging from real estate to healthcare and timber, to even the manufacturing of church furniture. Carl and his wife Tina have been married for over 37 years. They have children and grandchildren.

When Jerry was frustrated with the direction of Mobile’s local government, he ran for County Commission where he still serves today. On the county commission he has been a vocal fiscal hawk and advocate for pro-growth, job-creating policies, and is laser‑focused on creating economic opportunities so good-paying jobs can be created.

Carl is an avid hunter, a lifelong supporter of Second Amendment rights, and believes all human life should be protected from the moment of conception.

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Carl is promising to build the wall along our southern border, “stop the liberals from imposing a 90% tax rate on hard-working Alabamians,” and “stand with Trump to do what’s right and fight for us.”

Coastal 150 is a comprehensive group of community leaders who work from a grassroots level to the highest levels of government to further the mission of Coastal Alabama Partnership to make coastal Alabama the place to live, work and play along the Gulf Coast. Coastal 150 gives all regional leaders an opportunity to be involved in the development of our coastal region’s bright future.

Carl faces former State Senator Bill Hightower in the July Republican primary runoff. The eventual Republican nominee will face the winner of the Democratic primary runoff. between James Averhart and Kiani Gardner, in the November general election.

First Congressional District incumbent Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) is not seeking re-election.

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Elections

Alabama Republicans will hold summer meeting August 1

Brandon Moseley

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The Alabama Republican Party announced Tuesday that the state executive committee will meet on Saturday, August 1.

The Alabama Republican Party Summer Meeting is scheduled to be at the Trussville Civic Center, 5381 Trussville Clay Road, Trussville, AL 35173.

“We will be meeting in person and will be following all social distancing guidelines as applicable at the meeting time,” wrote Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan. “As the guidelines change, the ALGOP will plan accordingly for a safe, in person business meeting. The civic center can accommodate the social distancing guidelines with some alternations. However, as of today, special event buildings are closed. We will look for a backup place in case we need one. For now, our meeting is booked at the Trussville Civic Center.”

“Because of the guidelines that require distancing and not knowing what the future brings, the luncheon fundraiser we had scheduled prior to our meeting will be postponed,” Lathan explained. “Seating for 8-10 people at a table is not conducive for now- hopefully this will change sooner than later. It takes us months to prepare for 500 at our dinners, luncheons and meetings. The virus situation has hijacked many of our choices. Stay tuned for information about an exciting event later in the fall.”

Lathan said that, “The guidelines are fluid and our plan will need to adjust accordingly.”

“Please be assured that our team will be focused on having a safe and efficient Summer Meeting on August 1.”

Re-electing Donald Trump and defeating Democratic incumbent Sen. Doug Jones are the focuses of the Alabama Republican Party. Tommy Tuberville and Jeff Sessions are in the July 14 Republican Primary runoff seeking that nomination.

The Alabama Republican Party holds six of the state’s seven congressional seats. They are not challenging incumbent Terri Sewell, D-Selma.

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Republican incumbents Mo Brooks of Huntsville and Gary Palmer of Hoover do not have Democratic challengers.

Republicans are hoping to re-elect incumbent Congressmen Robert Aderholt and Mike Rogers who face Democratic challengers. The 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts are both vacant.

In CD1 Bill Hightower faces Jerry Carl in the Republican Party primary runoff. In CD2 Barry Moore and Jeff Coleman are seeking the GOP nomination. Both eventual nominees will face Democratic opponents in the fall.

The Alabama Republican Party holds every statewide office. The highest-profile state office on the November ballot is Public Service Commission President where the Alabama Republican Party hopes to re-elect incumbent Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh.

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