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Jefferson County District Judge John Amari switches to Republican Party

Jefferson County District Judge John E. Amari requested the Chairman of the Jefferson County Republican Party allow him to rejoin the Republican Party.

Amari was elected as a Democrat in 2008. Judge Amari decided to make the switch in order to publicly work for the election of Judge Teresa Pulliam (R).

“I believe qualifications and experience matter in our judges,” Amari said in a letter. “I feel so strongly about the qualifications, experience and character of Teresa Pulliam that I feel compelled to publicly endorse, actively campaign and vote for the Republican nominee.”

Incumbent Circuit Court Judge Pulliam’s opponent is Linda Hall. On October 22, 2018, Circuit Court Judge Samuel W. Junkin ruled that she is ineligible to run as a candidate due to her failure to meet residency requirements. During her trial, Ms. Hall testified that she does not live in Jefferson County.

“I would not have ran if I knew that I lived in Shelby County,” Hall reportedly said in court.

Subsequently, Judge Junkin ruled votes cast for Linda Hall in the general election cannot be used to elect her, but must be counted, possibly leaving the decision to Governor Kay Ivey.

Jefferson County Republican Party Chairman Sallie Bryant announced that she is pleased to welcome Judge Amari to the Republican Party.

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“Judge Amari is a man of high character who has ably served the people of our county with honor and dignity,” Chairman Bryant said in a statement. “We are pleased he will use his influence to help elect our local judicial candidates.”

Jefferson County has the largest population of any county in the state. In elections since 2008, Jefferson County has voted increasingly Democratic Party, even as the rest of the state has grown more Republican on election day.

Jefferson County Democrats have set their sights on unseating Republican incumbents: Sheriff Mike Hale, District Attorney Mike Anderton, GOP members of the Alabama legislature, and the last remaining Republican judges in Jefferson County, including Judge Pullium.

This is an especially important election because the legislators elected on next Tuesday will redistrict the state following the 2020 Census.

Coming into this election, the Republican Party holds sixty percent of the elected offices in the state of Alabama.

The general election will be Tuesday, November 6. Polls will open at 7:00 am and close at 7:00 pm.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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