Saturday, Colbert County Republican Party Chairman Phillip Green announced that the Colbert County Republican Executive Committee voted to accept Commissioner Jimmy Gardiner’s request to switch to the Grand Old Party at its meeting on Monday, October 28, 2019.
Commissioner Gardiner has served Commission District 3 as a Democrat since 2008, but asked to qualify as a Republican candidate for the 2020 primary.
“We are pleased to welcome Commissioner Gardiner into our ranks,” Chairman Green said. “When he introduced himself to our committee, he explained with great sincerity how he had come to a realization his views did not align with the modern day Democrat Party. As a small business owner, he has seen first hand how his dental practice has thrived due to Republican economic leadership and policies. We look forward to working with Commissioner Gardiner in 2020 and for many years to come.”
Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan said, “The Colbert County GOP has done a great job of growing the party, winning over voters by showing how our conservative policies work. I am excited to have Commissioner Gardiner as part of this winning team. We welcome all who are committed to our core principles of limited government, low taxes and respect for the sanctity of life.”
Gardiner works at Singing River Dentistry and lives in Tuscumbia. He attended Birmingham Southern.
Following the removal of federal troops at the end of Reconstruction in the mid-1870s, the Alabama Democratic Party became the dominant party in Alabama politics. The Barry Goldwater campaign of 1964 rejuvenated the Alabama Republican Party and Alabama became more of a two-party state. 1964 was the first time that the state went for a Republican for President since Reconstruction. A Democrat, Jimmy Carter in 1976, has carried the state only once since then. In 1980 Jeremiah Denton became the first popularly elected Republican U.S. Senator. In 1986 Guy Hunt became the first Republican elected Governor of the state since Reconstruction. The only Democrat elected governor since then was Don Siegelman in 1998. In 2010 Republicans won majorities in both houses of the Alabama Legislature in 135 years. They have grown those majorities in 2014 and 2018. Today the Alabama Republican Party controls over 65 percent of the partisan elected offices in the state.
National Democrats increasingly extreme views on homosexuality, abortion, gun control, immigration, energy policy, religion, and hostility toward capitalism have made it increasingly difficult for candidates to get elected as Democrats in the state outside of majority minority districts.