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DNC chair: If elections aren’t held on Saturday, Alabama could have no delegates at national convention

Josh Moon

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Unless a Montgomery County Circuit Court allows a scheduled meeting of the Alabama Democratic Party to go forward on Saturday, it is unlikely that the state will be allowed to seat a single delegate at the Democratic National Convention next summer in Milwaukee. 

Those were, essentially, the words of Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez, who filed an affidavit late Thursday in the legal fight between two factions of Alabama Democrats. 

The first legal action in the yearlong feud between the two sides took place on Thursday in front of Circuit Court Judge Greg Griffin. ADP chairwoman Nancy Worley asked the court to issue a restraining order preventing a breakaway group of Democrats from meeting and holding new elections for leadership. After Thursday’s hearing, Griffin promised a quick decision, which is expected some time on Friday. 

Perez and the DNC leadership have long backed the “Reform Caucus” of the ADP — a group of roughly half (both sides claim a majority in this fight and the numbers make it almost impossible to tell who’s lying) the State Democratic Executive Committee — that has broken away and is attempting to force the ADP to rewrite its bylaws and hold new leadership elections. 

The DNC, after multiple hearings on the matter, has determined that ADP’s bylaws are seriously out of date and out of compliance with the national party’s bylaws. So, it invalidated leadership elections last year and have ordered the rewrite. 

ADP chairwoman Nancy Worley and vice chairman Randy Kelly have consistently dragged their feet on this, resulting in the DNC stripping both of their credentials and threatening not to seat delegates from Alabama at the convention. 

Perez’s letter on Thursday wasn’t exactly threatening, but was instead a statement of basic facts — at this point, if ADP can’t hold elections and put leadership in place that is recognized by the DNC, there likely won’t be enough time to make those appointments down the road. 

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“As I have stated in my correspondence with Chair Worley, unless the SDEC members participate in the elections of new members and officers on Nov. 2, … the (ADP) might not be able to present a timely delegate selection plan,” Perez wrote. “The delegate selection plan must be approved by the DNC for a state Democratic party to participate in the Democratic presidential primary nominating process.”

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Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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