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Byrne is first to announce 67 county leadership team

Brandon Moseley

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Monday, Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) announced the launch of his Grassroots Leadership Team for his bid to win the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.

Byrne’s is the first Senate candidate to release an all 67 county leadership team. The team includes over 200 key community leaders.

“It is an honor to have so many people from every corner of the state joining us in the fight to bring our Alabama values to the U.S. Senate,” Byrne said. “We are going to win this primary and defeat Doug Jones thanks to this team of homegrown supporters.”

“Bradley was the first candidate to announce financial contributions from all 67 counties and is now the first candidate to announce a full 67 county leadership team,” said Byrne campaign manager Seth Morrow. “The people of Alabama are ready for a Christian, conservative fighter, and they know Bradley is the man for the job. We are committed to an Alabama grassroots campaign that is built to last, and the Grassroots Leadership Team marks yet another milestone for our campaign.”

Members of the Grassroots Leadership Team serve as coordinators in their community and help with an assortment of tasks ranging from hosting meet and greets to distributing yard signs.

Byrne had previously announced that persons from every county in the state have made a financial contribution to Bradley’s campaign.

Byrne is presently representing Alabama’s First Congressional District. He has also served previously served the people of Alabama as head of the State Two Year College System, State Senator, and on the State School Board. Byrne was a 2010 candidate for governor, but lost the Republican runoff to State Representative Robert Bentley (R-Tuscaloosa).

Public Service Announcement

Byrne is running for the Republican nomination for the seat currently held by Doug Jones (D). Sources tell the Alabama Political Reporter that Byrne will file the paperwork to formally qualify this afternoon at Republican State Headquarters in Hoover.

Current members of the team include:
Senator Greg Albritton – Escambia County
Francis Andrews – Limestone County
Harold Appling – Tuscaloosa County
Greg Atkinson – Talladega County
JoAnn Averett – Chilton County
Loretta Bach – Montgomery County
Richard Baker – Marshall County
Donna Baker – Walker County
Representative Mike Ball – Madison County
Peggy Bamberg – Montgomery County
Mayor Ed Beasley – Crenshaw County
Bradley Bedwell – Houston County
Ann Priester Bennett – Lee County
Curt Bigbee – Franklin County
John Blue – Madison County
Ron Bolton – Tuscaloosa County
Traci Bowden – Marshall County
Billy Bowden – Marshall County
Jen Boyles – Russell County
Will Boyles – Russell County
Mayor David Bradford – Colbert County
Duwayne Bridges – Chambers County
Trey Brinkley – Etowah County
Representative Chip Brown – Mobile County
Dicksie Bush – Calhoun County
Emily Butler – Colbert County
Senator Tom Butler – Madison County
Kirkland Byars – Tuscaloosa County
David Byers – Jefferson County
Tom Cain – Randolph County
Sharon Cain – Randolph County
Jim Cary – Marshall County
Bill Castlen – Houston County
Frances Castlen – Houston County
Kenny Childree – Bullock County
Sheriff Sam Cochran – Mobile County
Bo Colley – Chambers County
Representative Terri Collins – Morgan County
Bruce Cooke – Sumter County
Mayor Jenny Countryman – Monroe County
Dylan Cox – Mobile County
Bill Crain – Madison County
Daniel Craven – Baldwin County
Ashton Crihfield – Lauderdale County
Belinda Crouch – Washington County
Donna Cude – Jefferson County
Rex Davis – Limestone County
John Dawson – Etowah County
Bart Dawson – St. Clair County
Mayor Sheldon Day – Clarke County
Mary Martha Defoor – Montgomery County
Grant DeMuth – Marshall County
Celia Dixon – Elmore County
Charla Doucet – Chilton County
Emily Durden – Montgomery County
Mason Dyess – Tuscaloosa County
Representative Brett Easterbrook- Washington County
Steve Edwards – Colbert County
Tracey Edwards – Elmore County
Gary Edwards – Elmore County
Don Edwards – Lee County
Gayle Edwards – Lee County
Senator Chris Elliott – Baldwin County
Bo Evans – Autauga County
Punkin Evans – Autauga County
Kathy Evans – Autauga County
Bradfield Evans – Lowndes County
Representative David Faulkner – Jefferson County
Representative Joe Faust – Baldwin County
Troy Fillingim – Henry County
Don Fisher – Montgomery County
Karen Fisher – Montgomery County
Katie Foster – Colbert County
Judy Fraser – Shelby County
Joe Fuller – Jefferson County
Vickie Fuller – Jefferson County
Representative Victor Gaston – Mobile County
Greg Gagliano – Shelby County
Kim Gagliano – Shelby County
Darren Garner – Macon County
James Gilliland Sr. – Coosa County
Joe Glass – Calhoun County
Kim Glass – Calhoun County
Logan Glass – Etowah County
Marvin Gregory – Tuscaloosa County
Art Hahn – Tallapoosa County
Commissioner Robert Ham – Lee County
Mayor Johnny Hammock – Tallapoosa County
Charles Hardage – Chambers County
Don Harris – Montgomery County
Howard Harrison – Coffee County
Grady Hartzog – Barbour County
Wesley Helton – Shelby County
Davis Henry – Dallas County
Rod Herring – Lee County
Karen Herring – Lee County
Steve Hicks – Cherokee County
Steve Hicks – Lauderdale County
David Hogan – Jefferson County
Kevin Holland – Escambia County
Leslie Hollingsworth – Shelby County
Webb Holmes – Perry County
Mayor Steve Holt – Lauderdale County
Cheryl Holt – Shelby County
Gene Howard – Calhoun County
Virginia Howard – Dale County
Kent Howard – Jefferson County
Carlton Hunley – Lee County
Will Hurts – Lawrence County
Sheriff Heath Jackson – Escambia County
Senator Andrew Jones – Cherokee County
Lisa Jones – Marshall County
Meador Jones – Hale County
Laura Joseph – Shelby County
Mark Kaiser – Baldwin County
Michael Keller – Winston County
Cody Kruse – Montgomery County
Steve Langley – Marion County
Bubba Lee – Baldwin County
Nick Lee – St. Clair County
Shag LaPrade – Coffee County
Senator Steve Livingston – Jackson County
Chris Live – Houston County
Mark Long – DeKalb County
Barney Lovelace – Morgan County
Jack Lovelady – Jackson County
Nikki Lovelady – Lawrence County
Margarett Lovett – Colbert County
Sheriff Hoss Mack – Baldwin County
Grady Martin – Choctaw County
Kirk Mattei – Mobile County
Ray McCarty – Pickens County
Mary Sue McClurkin – Shelby County
Van McClurkin – Shelby County
Colin McGuire – Butler County
Suzanne McKee – Marengo County
Robert McKee – Marengo County
Representative Steve McMillan – Baldwin County
Tom McMillan – Escambia County
Stephen McNair – Mobile County
Austin Monk – Cullman County
Pam S. Morris – Jefferson County
Will Morris – St. Clair County
Mayor Charles Murphy – Baldwin County
Jim Murphy – Blount County
Jason Neff – Tuscaloosa County
Sue Neuwien – Coffee County
Brown Nolen – Lauderdale County
Baylie Norton – Cleburne County
Jeff Overstreet – Etowah County
Summer Overstreet – Etowah County
Mike Parsons – Madison County
Brooks Payne – Tuscaloosa County
Captain Hal Pierce – Mobile County
Renee Powers – Chilton County
Tom Powers – Chilton County
Barbara L. Priester – Lee County
Cathy Quin – Tuscaloosa County
Charlie Ramsey – Monroe County
Rhonda Reynolds – Chilton County
Representative Kerry Rich – Marshall County
Elaine Ridenour – Dale County
Pete Riehm – Mobile County
Glenda Reitzell – Madison County
Colonel John Rietzell – Madison County
John Roberts – Madison County
Salem Saloom – Conecuh County
Daniel Sawyer – Monroe County
Deb Sellers – Jefferson County
John Sellers – Jefferson County
Art Sessions – Mobile County
Senator David Sessions – Mobile County
Greg Shirley – Talladega County
Representative Harry Shriver – Baldwin County
Kara Silvers – Lee County
Representative Matt Simpson – Baldwin County
Sheriff Rick Singleton – Lauderdale County
Stephanie Smith – Jefferson County
Eddie Smith – Lee County
Mike Sparks – Clay County
Alyce Spruell – Tuscaloosa County
Zach Stanton – Tuscaloosa County
David Steele – Mobile County
Jack Steele – Wilcox County
Kermit Marcus Stephens III – Bibb County
Karen Stewart – Elmore County
Sally French Stewart – Jefferson County
Representative Shane Stringer – Mobile County
Sam Stroud – Pike County
Mayor Bernie Sullivan – Crenshaw County
Sam Taylor – Lamar County
Lt. Col. Jim Terrell – Madison County
Jeff Thagard – Dale County
Robin Thagard – Dale County
Charlie Thompson – Lauderdale County
Steven Thornton – Madison County
Don Waldon – Fayette County
James Walker – Lauderdale County
Tim Walker – Marshall County
Jessie Weeks – Geneva County
Mikel Weeks – Geneva County
Honorable Tracie West — Lee County
Hugh Wheeless – Houston County
Chairman Greg White – Covington County
Representative Andy Whitt – Madison County
Representative Margie Wilcox – Mobile County
Senator Jack Williams – Mobile County
John Willis – Franklin County
Mayor Bob Wills – Baldwin County
Joann Wilmore – Autauga County
Don Woods – Greene County
Honorable David Yarber – Colbert County

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with eight and a half years at Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook. Brandon is a native of Moody, Alabama, a graduate of Auburn University, and a seventh generation Alabamian.

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Elections

Coalition of attorneys general file opposition to Alabama attempt to ban curbside voting

The AGs argue that Alabama’s suggestion to the courts that curbside voting invites fraud is “unfounded.” 

Eddie Burkhalter

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(STOCK PHOTO)

A coalition of 17 state attorneys general have filed an opposition to Alabama’s attempt to get the U.S. Supreme Court to ban curbside voting. 

In a friend-of-the-court brief, led by District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine, the attorneys general argue to that curbside voting is safer for those at greatest risk from COVID-19, and that a ban on the practice would disproportionately impact the elderly, the disabled and Black Alabamians.

They also argue that Alabama’s suggestion to the courts that curbside voting invites fraud is “unfounded.” 

“The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, established by President Trump following the 2016 election, ‘uncovered no evidence to support claims of widespread voter fraud,’” the brief states, adding that there is no evidence that curbside voting in the many states that allow it invites fraud. 

“The practice is longstanding and widespread—as noted, more than half of states have historically offered curbside voting in some form,” the brief continues. 

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall on Oct. 13 said the state will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court a federal appeals court ruling allowing curbside voting in the Nov. 3 election. 

A panel of federal appeals court judges on Oct. 13 reversed parts of U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon’s Sept. 30 ordered ruling regarding absentee voting in the upcoming Nov. 3 elections, but the judges let the previous ruling allowing curbside voting to stand. 

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The lawsuit, filed by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Southern Poverty Law Center, American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Alabama and Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program, was brought on behalf of several Alabamians with underlying medical conditions. 

“Curbside voting is a longstanding, secure voting option that local jurisdictions have made available to protect the health of vulnerable voters, including elderly, disabled, and voters with underlying health issues,” Racine said in a statement. “Curbside voting minimizes the risk to persons who are particularly susceptible to COVID-19, and local jurisdictions should be able to offer this common-sense accommodation to voters. State Attorneys General will keep fighting to ensure that voters can safely make their voices heard at the ballot box this November.”

The brief filed by the coalition of state attorneys general comes as the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations across Alabama has been ticking upward.

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Racine is joined in the brief by attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

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Elections

Tuberville, Sessions campaign together

The two former Republican primary opponents participated in a series of campaign events across the Tennessee Valley area.

Brandon Moseley

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Former Sen. Jeff Sessions, left, and Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville, right.

The Tommy Tuberville for U.S. Senate campaign released a social media video Thursday featuring Tuberville alongside former U.S. Sen. and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The two former Republican primary opponents had participated in a series of campaign events across the Tennessee Valley area.

Tuberville and Sessions on Wednesday met with representatives of Huntsville’s defense and technology sectors, participated in an event sponsored by the Republican Women of Huntsville and headlined multiple campaign fundraising events.

Sessions said, “Tommy, I support you 100 percent. Alabama must send you to represent us in the Senate. We cannot allow a Chuck Schumer acolyte – Doug Jones – to represent Alabama in the Senate.”

“You see it on his vote on the judges and Kavanaugh and the way he’s behaved about the new nominee, so I think … it would be shocking that Alabama would reelect a Doug Jones,” Sessions continued. “I know you’re going to win. I feel really good about it, and I’m glad that you’re traveling the state hard and that you’re here in this important community.”

The night after Tuberville won the Republican primary runoff election, Sessions committed to doing his part to help defeat Jones and reclaim the Senate seat for the ALGOP.

“After we won the runoff, Jeff Sessions called and told me, ‘Coach, I’m all in,’ and today’s joint events certainly demonstrate that he is a man of his word,” Tuberville said following the video shoot. “Jeff Sessions understands that it’s time we once again had a U.S. senator whose votes reflect our conservative Alabama values, not the ultra-liberal Hollywood and New York values of Doug Jones’s high-dollar, out-of-state campaign donors.”

Tuberville faces a determined Jones, who is flooding the airwaves with ads. Democrats are desperate to hold on to Jones’ seat, believing that his seat could tip control of the Senate to the Democrats.

Public Service Announcement

Democrats hope to hold onto their control the U.S. House of Representatives and a recent poll by Rasmussen shows Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden with a five point lead over incumbent Donald Trump.

Sessions left the U.S. Senate to accept an appointment as Trump’s first attorney general.

Jones defeated former Chief Justice Roy Moore to win the seat in the special election.

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Sessions was fired by Trump in 2018 and announced his candidacy for Senate the day before qualifying ended. Tuberville had already spent ten months on the campaign trail at that point.

Tuberville defeated Sessions, Moore, Congressman Bradley Byrne, State Rep. Arnold Mooney and businessman Stanley Adair in the crowded Republican primary. Tuberville is a former Auburn University head football coach. He also coached Texas Tech, Cincinnati and Ole Miss. Tuberville won a national championship as the defensive coordinator at the University of Miami. Tuberville lives in Auburn.

The general election is Nov. 3.

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Education

Report: Alabama is fourth-least politically engaged state in 2020

The study scored states based on 11 key indicators of political engagement. Those included things like voter turnout, political donations and voter accessibility policies.

Micah Danney

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(STOCK PHOTO)

Alabama was ranked fourth from last in political engagement in the country in 2020 in an analysis done by the personal finance website WalletHub.

The study scored states based on 11 key indicators of political engagement. Those included things like voter turnout, political donations and voter accessibility policies.

A record 137.5 million Americans voted in the 2016 presidential election, but that only accounts for 61.4 percent of citizens who are old enough to vote. The U.S. ranks 26 in voter turnout among the world’s 35 developed nations. 

“That’s no surprise, considering most states don’t emphasize civic education in their schools,” the report points out. “Large proportions of the public fail even simple knowledge tests such as knowing whether one’s state requires identification in order to vote.”

One of the study’s metrics where Alabama scored lowest was the percentage of the electorate that voted in the 2016 election, which was 57.4 percent. That number is low, said Jill Gonzalez, a WalletHub analyst, and is 4.5 percent lower than it was in the 2012 presidential election.

She said that other factors responsible for the state’s low rank were its preparedness for voting in a pandemic and the low percentage of residents who participate in local groups or organizations.

The report’s assessment of the state’s preparedness for voting in a pandemic included voting accessibility metrics.

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“Alabama actually received a negative score here because of the unnecessary obstacles created for voter access, such as: voters need a notary or two witnesses to complete an absentee ballot, voters are required to provide a copy of a photo ID for the mail application and/or ballot, and mail ballots are due before close of polling,” Gonzalez said in an email.

She said that states ranked at the top of the list, like first-place Maine, have higher engagement due to measures taken by state legislatures. 

“Making it easy for people to vote increases engagement,” Gonzalez said. “This can be done through things like automatic voter registration, early voting, or voting by mail. The existence of local civic organizations involved in voter mobilization also plays a part in this.”

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A federal judge ordered Alabama on Sept. 30 to do away with its witnesses or notary requirement for mail-in ballots, and to allow curbside voting for the Nov. 3 election. An appeals court reversed the former ruling on Tuesday, a decision which Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill applauded. It upheld the latter decision, about which Merrill said, “we intend to appeal to the Supreme Court to see that this fraudulent practice is banned in Alabama, as it is not currently allowed by state law.”

Metrics where Alabama ranked below average, with a score of one being best and 25 being average, were as follows:

  • 26th in percentage of registered voters in the 2016 presidential election
  • 35th in voter accessibility policies
  • 37th in percentage of the electorate who voted in the 2018 midterm elections
  • 38th in total political contributions per adult population
  • 42nd in percentage of the electorate who voted in the 2016 presidential election
  • 45th is the change in the percentage of the electorate who actually voted in the 2016 elections versus the 2012 elections

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Elections

Alabama Retail Association endorses Mike Rogers

“Proud to receive the endorsement of the Alabama Retail Association’s PAC!” Rogers said.

Brandon Moseley

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Congressman Mike Rogers

Congressman Mike Rogers, R-Alabama, this week thanked the Alabama Retail Association for their recent endorsement. Rogers is seeking his tenth term representing the 3rd Congressional District.

“Proud to receive the endorsement of the Alabama Retail Association’s PAC!” Rogers said. “Through sales of food, clothing, furniture, medicine and more, the retailers’ 4,300 independent merchant and national company members touch almost every aspect of daily living.”

Rogers was first elected in 2002 after previous service in the Alabama House of Representatives and the Calhoun County Commission. He currently serves as ranking member of the Committee on Homeland Security and is a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee. Mike also serves as a member of the Strategic Forces subcommittee.

Rogers summarizes his conservative ideology with the old adage “the government that governs best, governs least.”

Rogers is a graduate of Saks High School and earned both his undergraduate degree in political science and masters of public administration at Jacksonville State University. He was a practicing attorney and is a small business owner in Calhoun County.

Rogers faces Democratic nominee Adia Winfrey in the Nov. 3 general election.

The Alabama Retail Association represents retailers, the largest private employer in the state of Alabama, before the Alabama Legislature and the U.S. Congress. Through sales of food, clothing, furniture, medicine and more, the association’s 4,300 independent merchant and national company members touch almost every aspect of daily living.

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Rogers is a sixth generation East Alabamian and native of Calhoun County. He has been married to his wife, Beth, for 35 years. They have three children. Mike grew up in the small mill village of Blue Mountain. His mother worked in the local textile mill and his father was a firefighter.

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