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Elections

Reaction to postponement of primary runoffs

Brandon Moseley

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Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, Attorney General Steve Marshall and Secretary of State John Merrill announced that the Alabama primary runoff elections will be held on Tuesday, July 14, 2020, due to spread of COVID-19.

Here is some reaction from state officials and candidates.

“We support the administration’s prudent measures and decisions to protect Alabamians,” said Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan. “While these are concerning and unknown times, we appreciate our leaders implementing a safe atmosphere for our probate and election officials, poll workers, campaigns, candidates and voters. The old saying ‘better safe than sorry’ is truly applicable in these unknown circumstances.”

“Since President Trump’s declaration of National Emergency, our campaign has prepared for the potential postponement of the Alabama Republican run-off election for the 1st Congressional District,” said former State Senator Bill Hightower. “President Trump and his Administration have provided strong leadership in issuing guidance to states about the importance of public health vigilance during the coronavirus outbreak. This announcement is simply one more step in accordance with those recommendations.”

“On Sunday the CDC recommended canceling or postponing events or gatherings of more than 50 people,” said Republican Second Congressional District candidate Barry Moore. “Today the White House asked people not to gather in groups of more than 10 for the next 15 days, so that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to follow these guidelines, so most of our face to face events will be canceled for now. This is just common sense, not a reason to panic. We’ve already moved away from handshakes, so not holding political events where our supporters might be at risk of getting sick is the smart thing, the right thing to do.”

“I know that Governor Ivey has considered the health of Alabamians and that she has focused on their best interests in making her decision,” said Republican Senate candidate former Sen. Jeff Sessions. “The safety and health of Alabamians must take precedence. I am confident that Secretary of State John Merrill and Circuit Clerks across the state, in consultation with public health officials, will work hard to ensure a safe and orderly runoff election on July 14th. It is important that every voter’s voice has a fair chance to be heard, whether the vote is cast via an absentee ballot, or at the ballot box on election day.”

“I am glad that our elected officials are finally taking the threat of this virus seriously,” said Democratic First Congressional District candidate Kiani Gardner. “This decision, in conjunction with our success in expanding absentee ballot access to ALL Alabamians (without excuse) during the pandemic, is a big step towards ensuring that Alabamians can simultaneously protect their health and their right to vote.”

“I understand Governor Ivey’s decision to postpone the runoff and join her in encouraging all Alabamians to stay safe, be kind, and follow all guidelines related to the Coronavirus,” said Republican Senate candidate Tommy Tuberville. “I pray that the current health crisis will be brought under control and that lives will be saved.”

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“President Trump has taken bold steps that no other President would have taken to ensure our safety,” said Republican First Congressional District candidate and Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl. “This is just more evidence that we need to not only re-elect President Trump but to also flip the House Red!”

“As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread throughout the country, our government has taken action to protect every citizen,” said Republican Second Congressional District candidate Jeff Coleman. “Now, that means postponing our run-off election until July 14th when it is safe for every Alabamian to make it to the polls. Stay tuned for more news.”

“We applaud the governor for looking out for the safety of all Alabamians, especially our senior citizens, poll workers, and those most at risk for the Coronavirus,” said Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Beth Kellum (R) who is running for re-election. “First and foremost, we want everyone to have the right to vote and to be able to do so safely. As announced this morning, the run-off election will now be held on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. We encourage everyone to go ahead and request an absentee ballot. Additionally, please look at CDC’s website for the most up-to-date information regarding procedures for COVID-19.”

“Many of you are aware that Governor Ivey announced that the primary election will be postponed until July 14, 2020,” said Democratic First Congressional District candidate James Averhart. “We should also receive guidance from the Secretary of State informing citizens that we will be allowed to vote absentee starting today, and until July 13, 2020. I’ve presented guidance to our campaign staff and they are committed to managing expectation. Until further notification, our staff will be tele-working and staying engaged with current events on all levels.”

“We intend to maintain our vigorous campaign up until the last day, even as we are careful to do so in a manner that puts the health and safety of the public first,” Sessions said. “It will be very difficult for Tommy Tuberville to hide from debates for four months. He will have to conquer his fears, and face me and the voters.”

“We’ve had a great social media presence during this campaign, and we’re going to ramp that up,” Moore said. “We’re going to be doing a lot of live streams on Facebook so people can still get to know Barry Moore and where I stand on the issues without risking their health.”

“My campaign is maintaining our position of suspended face-to-face events,” said Gardner. “But, we continue our work of keeping the citizens of South Alabama informed, engaged, and connected throughout this trying time. So, mark you calendars for July 14, apply for your absentee ballot, wash your hands, and stay at home. We will weather this storm together, Alabama!”

“America has faced daunting challenges in the past, but one of the characteristics that has made our nation uniquely exceptional is our resiliency and ability to overcome what is put in front of us,” said Hightower. “This includes the coronavirus. We must all be mindful to heed the President’s direction, and take appropriate precautions with all social interactions. Together we will overcome this challenge as well.”

“During this unprecedented time in history, we are praying for our nation and all Alabamians who have been impacted,” said Judge Kellum. “Now is the time for us all to do our part to be one nation and one Alabama.”

“Fellow citizens, I hope all is well and you are following safety guidance from our city, state and federal officials as it pertains to COVID-19,” said Averhart. “This pandemic is real and has fatal consequences if we don’t take care of ourselves and our fellow man. Now more than ever, we must remember that we are ALL in this together. Please be mindful to:- Wash your hands, Practice #SocialDistancing, Disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, Call the doctor if you’re sick.”

“We ask all to be in deep prayer for our president, state leaders, candidates, their families and our fellow citizens,” said Lathan. “We also lift up our health care workers, first responders and those who keep our nation and state safe. This opportunity of working together will showcase our great state’s resilience with a focus on our fellow Alabamians’ safety and health. Americans are tenacious and tough people who have risen to many trying times and we have no doubt that we will all rise together again in this chapter of our nation’s and state’s history.”

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Elections

Secretary of State to evaluate all county registrars

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This week, Secretary of State John H. Merrill notified all 204 Registrars in the State of Alabama that their performances would be evaluated following the November 3, 2020 General Election.

“Every agent of the state should be held accountable for their actions – especially those who are tasked with protecting the opportunity for Alabamians to exercise their constitutional right to vote. These evaluations will ensure that Registrars are completing their duties in serving the people of their respective county,” stated Secretary Merrill.

Beginning December 1, 2020, the Office of the Secretary of State will be traveling to all 67 counties to meet with and confirm whether or not each registrar is completing his or her assigned duties.

Section 17-4-35 of the Code of Alabama requires the Supervisor of Voter Registration to evaluate Registrars on the performance of their lawful functions. Section 17-3-2 requires the Secretary of State to prescribe guidelines to assist the State Board of Appointment to determine the qualifications of the members of the Boards of Registrars.

The qualifications are as follows:

  • Capable of following Alabama’s Ethics Laws
  • Self-motivated, reliable, responsible, accountable
  • Resident of county
  • Qualified elector of county (registered to vote)
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Computer skills (Microsoft Office competency including Word, Excel, Outlook)
  • Proficient in utilizing an email account
  • Proficient in typing (word and data processing)
  • Ability to utilize a computer, scanner, printer, label-maker, and camera
  • Map reading skills (understanding of local, county, and state district lines, precincts, and polling places)
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills, including customer service skills to assist citizens, voters, election officials, and other offices in-person, by email, and via telephone
  • Understanding and willingness to express office etiquette
  • Ability to work Monday through Friday and some weekends during intervals of the year in preparation of local, county, and state elections
  • Reliable and responsible for working assigned days as agreed upon by the Board of Registrars
  • Must be willing to consider the registrar position as the primary occupation, and must be available for working the normal business hours of the office
  • Must have reliable transportation to and from the office location
  • Understanding of confidentiality and security of private information
  • Willing to retain and protect private information not available to the public
  • Ability to travel to mandatory training sessions one or more times a year throughout the state
  • Required to be a team player and work alongside two other board members in close proximity in the office setting
  • Understanding of Title 17 of the Code of Alabama, the Alabama Administrative Code, and Alabama Attorney General Opinions that apply to the position
  • Willingness to study and learn daily functions of the office using the Alabama Boards of Registrars Handbook and other guidance from the Alabama Secretary of State
  • Proficient in managing, filing, and storing extremely important and permanent documents received in the office, including voter registration applications and voter file maintenance records
  • Capable of learning to utilize multiple systems of software related to voter registration and the Alabama free Photo Voter ID
  • Must be unbiased and completely non-partisan during office hours and during any point in which representing the office
  • Ability to form positive working relationships with local, county, and state election officials and be cooperative and professional when working with other offices

Evaluations will be made public, following completion.

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Elections

Alabama House District 49 major party candidate qualifying is closed

Brandon Moseley

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Tuesday, the Alabama Republican Party closed its candidate qualifying period for the Alabama House of Representatives District 49 special primary election.

The following individuals have qualified to run as Republicans for the District 49 seat: Russell Bedsole, James Dean, Chuck Martin, Jackson McNeely, Mimi Penhale, and Donna Strong.

The Alabama Political Reporter talked Wednesday to the Alabama Democratic Party and they have also closed qualifying. Cheryl Patton has qualified to run as a Democrat for the seat.

The vacancy in House District 49 was created when State Representative April Weaver (R-Briarfield) announced her resignation to accept an appointment with the Trump administration as a regional director of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

House District 49 consists of portions of Bibb, Shelby and Chilton Counties. The winner will serve the remainder of April Weaver’s term which ends in late 2022.

The special Republican primary election for House District 49 will be held on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. Since only Patton qualified as a Democrat there will be no need for a Democratic Party primary. If a Republican runoff election is needed, it will be held on Tuesday, September 1, 2020. The winner of the Republican nomination will face Ms. Patton in the special general election to be held on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, two weeks after the general election on November 3.

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Elections

Coastal 150 endorses Jerry Carl for Congress

Brandon Moseley

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Wednesday, Coastal 150 announces their endorsement of Republican Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl for Alabama’s First Congressional District.

Wiley Blankenship is the Executive Director of Coastal 150.

“Our members believe that Jerry Carl is the right person to serve our region in Congress.” Blankenship said. “He understands our unique needs and supports our shared vision for coastal Alabama. We expect that Mr. Carl will represent Coastal Alabama well and look forward to working with him in Washington. “The experience, character and leadership that he brings to the office is what we believe is necessary to solve the challenges facing our region and our nation. “

“In case you missed it, our campaign has picked up some huge endorsements recently,” Carl said. “t’s an honor to be endorsed by these well-respected conservative leaders who know that I will fight for south Alabama in Congress.”

Carl has also been endorsed by the Alabama Farmers Federation, former State Representative Chris Pringle, and Wes Lambert.

Jerry Carl was born in Mobile, started his first company at the age of 25 and grew that small business into numerous other companies throughout the region. In all, Jerry has started over ten different companies ranging from real estate to healthcare and timber, to even the manufacturing of church furniture. Carl and his wife Tina have been married for over 37 years. They have children and grandchildren.

When Jerry was frustrated with the direction of Mobile’s local government, he ran for County Commission where he still serves today. On the county commission he has been a vocal fiscal hawk and advocate for pro-growth, job-creating policies, and is laser‑focused on creating economic opportunities so good-paying jobs can be created.

Carl is an avid hunter, a lifelong supporter of Second Amendment rights, and believes all human life should be protected from the moment of conception.

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Carl is promising to build the wall along our southern border, “stop the liberals from imposing a 90% tax rate on hard-working Alabamians,” and “stand with Trump to do what’s right and fight for us.”

Coastal 150 is a comprehensive group of community leaders who work from a grassroots level to the highest levels of government to further the mission of Coastal Alabama Partnership to make coastal Alabama the place to live, work and play along the Gulf Coast. Coastal 150 gives all regional leaders an opportunity to be involved in the development of our coastal region’s bright future.

Carl faces former State Senator Bill Hightower in the July Republican primary runoff. The eventual Republican nominee will face the winner of the Democratic primary runoff. between James Averhart and Kiani Gardner, in the November general election.

First Congressional District incumbent Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) is not seeking re-election.

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Elections

Alabama Republicans will hold summer meeting August 1

Brandon Moseley

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The Alabama Republican Party announced Tuesday that the state executive committee will meet on Saturday, August 1.

The Alabama Republican Party Summer Meeting is scheduled to be at the Trussville Civic Center, 5381 Trussville Clay Road, Trussville, AL 35173.

“We will be meeting in person and will be following all social distancing guidelines as applicable at the meeting time,” wrote Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan. “As the guidelines change, the ALGOP will plan accordingly for a safe, in person business meeting. The civic center can accommodate the social distancing guidelines with some alternations. However, as of today, special event buildings are closed. We will look for a backup place in case we need one. For now, our meeting is booked at the Trussville Civic Center.”

“Because of the guidelines that require distancing and not knowing what the future brings, the luncheon fundraiser we had scheduled prior to our meeting will be postponed,” Lathan explained. “Seating for 8-10 people at a table is not conducive for now- hopefully this will change sooner than later. It takes us months to prepare for 500 at our dinners, luncheons and meetings. The virus situation has hijacked many of our choices. Stay tuned for information about an exciting event later in the fall.”

Lathan said that, “The guidelines are fluid and our plan will need to adjust accordingly.”

“Please be assured that our team will be focused on having a safe and efficient Summer Meeting on August 1.”

Re-electing Donald Trump and defeating Democratic incumbent Sen. Doug Jones are the focuses of the Alabama Republican Party. Tommy Tuberville and Jeff Sessions are in the July 14 Republican Primary runoff seeking that nomination.

The Alabama Republican Party holds six of the state’s seven congressional seats. They are not challenging incumbent Terri Sewell, D-Selma.

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Republican incumbents Mo Brooks of Huntsville and Gary Palmer of Hoover do not have Democratic challengers.

Republicans are hoping to re-elect incumbent Congressmen Robert Aderholt and Mike Rogers who face Democratic challengers. The 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts are both vacant.

In CD1 Bill Hightower faces Jerry Carl in the Republican Party primary runoff. In CD2 Barry Moore and Jeff Coleman are seeking the GOP nomination. Both eventual nominees will face Democratic opponents in the fall.

The Alabama Republican Party holds every statewide office. The highest-profile state office on the November ballot is Public Service Commission President where the Alabama Republican Party hopes to re-elect incumbent Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh.

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