Saturday, the Alabama Democratic Party will hold an organizational meeting including its elections for the St. Clair County Democratic Executive Committee. The meeting will be at the Ashville Ballroom from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm.
St. Clair County Democratic Party Chairman Herbert Kuntz told the Alabama Political Reporter that the County Democratic Executive Committee has eight representatives from each of the four county commission districts. There are also two young Democrats (under age 40) and two minorities from each of the four commission districts. Ideally the CDEC is composed of 48 though in recent years it has been a struggle for the Democrats to maintain those numbers.
“St. Clair County is one of the reddest counties in red state Alabama. Hence maintaining and building the base and fielding good candidates is and has always been a challenge,” Kuntz stated.
Kuntz has been criticized by some within the party most notably legislative candidates Carl Carter, Jared Vaughn, and Nicki Arnold who released a public statement critical of the county leadership.
Alabama Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy Worley is expected be in Ashville to personally preside over the County Executive Party elections.
Worley was recently re-elected as Chairwoman by the Alabama State Democratic Executive Committee, successfully defeating a challenge from Alvin “Peck” Fox. Worley is an educator, the first woman to ever Chair the Alabama Democratic Executive Committee, a former Alabama Secretary of State, and a former President of the influential Alabama Education Association.
Normally members of the County Democratic Executive Committee are elected by Democratic primary voters like the party’s nominees for office; but when qualifying ended St. Clair County party officials neglected to submit a list of executive committee candidates to the probate judge, Mike Bowling (R).
“St. Clair County has no county executive committee,” Carter told APR. “For months, I have been called a liar and had my motives questioned for saying out loud that this would be the case. Last night, the state chair said it outright: County chairs were required to certify candidates and election results to the Probate Judge (as I said from the beginning). Our chair did not do that.”
Chairwoman Worley said in a statement, “IF YOU DID NOT CERTIFY THIS LIST TO THE PROBATE JUDGE, YOU DO NOT HAVE A COUNTY COMMITTEE.”
“We’ll have a committee by the end of the day Saturday,” Carter said. “The dawn is finally approaching, clearing the way for a new and properly elected party in St. Clair County.”
Kuntz said in a written statement that the statements by the three disgruntled candidates, “Appears simply to be a personal attack on the Chair of the St. Clair County Democratic Executive Committee and his wife based on unsubstantiated and distorted claims.”
Kuntz said that Carter had not been on the Committee long enough to know the history of the Committee, including the election of members and officers and their efforts to expand the Party within the County. “If I were Carl I would be spending every minute going face to face with as many voters as I could telling them why I am better that Jim McClendon.”
Carl Carter is running against incumbent State Senator Jim McClendon (R-Springville) in the November 6 general election.
Senate District 11 includes portions of St. Clair, Talladega, and Shelby Counties.
Every elected position in St. Clair County is currently held by Republicans. Republicans hold 60 percent of the elected positions in the state of Alabama.