State Sen. Vivian Figures won’t be the next chairperson of the Alabama Democratic Party.
Figures announced on Friday that she was dropping out of the race to potentially replace Nancy Worley, who has been the party chair since 2013.
“It is critical to have a chairman of the State Democratic Party who can serve in that capacity on a full-time basis,” Figures said in a statement announcing her decision. “After careful consideration, I feel that it is imperative that my voice and focus remain in the Senate and Alabama Legislature.”
Figures’ announcement is the latest twist in an odd and contentious fight to wrestle control of the floundering Alabama Democratic Party away from Worley and her closest ally, Alabama Democratic Conference chairman Joe Reed.
With Reed’s help, by way of personal minority appointments, Worley won a relatively close re-election earlier this year. But the Democratic National Committee overturned those results, citing party leadership’s failure to adhere to several rules. It also questioned the legitimacy of some votes cast.
Worley and Reed have maintained that the rules were followed.
Nevertheless, new elections were called for later this summer. So far, four have stepped forward to challenge Worley — Figures, Tabitha Isner, Will Boyd and Myron Penn — and two of those — Penn and Figures — have dropped out.
Sources familiar with the candidates and their decisions told APR that both Figures and Penn dropped out for exactly the reasons they claim — after taking a hard look at what would be required to lift the ADP from its current depths and get it functioning in even a semi-reasonable fashion, the workload would simply be too much for a person who held another full-time job.
For now, Isner, a relative newcomer to the party who ran a strong campaign against Republican Martha Roby last year, has the best shot to unseat Worley. Although Boyd, who is well liked, will draw a number of votes as well.
The wildcard in all of this will be DNC’s involvement and how it potentially affects the makeup of the minority caucus and how it hampers Reed’s ability to hand pick delegates that swing the vote in Worley’s favor.
The new election date has not yet been set.