There have been two State Democratic Executive Committee (SDEC) meetings this month after not meeting for a year and both voted to change the Alabama Democratic Party bylaws and set a November meeting to hold new elections for Chair and Vice Chair. The problem is that they each passed a different set of bylaws and set a different date for the election. The October 12 meeting potentially set the stage for different outcomes in the Chair elections which would potentially result in two separate groups each claiming to be the real Alabama Democratic Party.
Prior to the meeting a group of four young Democrats urged reform and to unify under one Democratic Party. They were disappointed with the outcome of Saturday’s meeting. On Sunday, they told the Alabama Political Reporter that they are committed to a long fight if necessary.
“Earlier this week, we urged all SDEC members to attend the October 12th SDEC meeting because we believe in ONE Alabama Democratic Party,” the Young Democrats wrote in a statement. “Even though we were disappointed by the dismissive, divisive, and deceitful way Chair Worley ran the meeting, we will continue to fight for ONE Alabama Democratic Party. We believe the October 12th meeting will be invalidated by the DNC and Alabama Democratic voters may pay the price by losing their voices in next year’s presidential primary, but we are committed to the long-term fight to make the Alabama Democratic Party inclusive, diverse, transparent, and effective. We believe in solutions, not sides.”
The Young Democrats are SDEC members and include: Kayla Sloan, Caroline Self, Lisa Handback, and Matthew Brown.
Saturday, ADP Chairwoman Nancy Worley announced that she was running for another term as Chair.
Former Congressional candidate Tabitha Isner and former Lt. Governor candidate Dr. Will Boyd have also announced their candidacies for party chair.
The reform faction of the SDEC have set November 2 as the date for their next meeting and election. Worley and her loyalist faction are meeting on November 16.
The Democratic National Committee had warned Worley not to pass her own bylaws. Worley and Alabama Democratic Conference (ADC) head Joe Reed say that the DNC bylaws (which were passed by the reform faction at their meeting) would cost Blacks representation on the executive committee.
“Reed has used ‘racism’ as the reason for our rebellion, in the nastiest of terms against us, and uses that slur to his loyalists about us, as easily as trump uses slurs against his opponent,” Joann Cummings said. “But it is NOT really a black vs white thing, no matter what HE tries to make it. We have many blacks in our coalition who say Reed does NOT speak for them. It is about OUSTING BAD LEADERS who do NOTHING REAL to improve the Party. (I have big list of what we SHOULD be doing).”
“I do NOT CARE what COLOR our leadership are -as long as they DO THE JOB RIGHT,” Cummings said. “But Reed is an authoritarian who will NOT SHARE power with subcommittees etc, even it it IMPROVES RESULTS.. He clings fiercely to ALL the power at the top. I am amazed how PARALLEL this situation is to a Trump White House. Almost every single trait and action. Look how well THAT is going.”
Many observers expect this dispute to end up in court. The DNC may refuse to recognize the Alabama delegation to the Democratic National Convention as a consequence of this ongoing feud.