Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Alabama Democrats demand Florence mayoral candidates denounce the KKK

The Alabama Democratic Party is demanding that the mayoral candidates in Florence Alabama — Andrew Betterton and incumbent Stephen Holt — denounce white supremacists before their Oct. 6 runoff.

A Confederate statue in Florence, Alabama, has been the source of months of protest and contestation of whether it should be removed. (VIA THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS)

The Alabama Democratic Party is demanding that the mayoral candidates in Florence Alabama — Andrew Betterton and incumbent Stephen Holt — denounce white supremacists before their Oct. 6 runoff after months of tumult and protest in the city over what to do with a Confederate monument.

“Mayor Steve Holt has stated that he supports ‘differing viewpoints’ among the protests surrounding the Confederate monument in downtown Florence,” the party said. “One of those ‘differing viewpoints’ is literally the Ku Klux Klan. Amid violent threats to peaceful protestors, Mayor Holt still refused to denounce these ‘differing viewpoints’ from the KKK.”

The Democratic Party’s comments come after Holt, in July, said he would not condone “unlawful actions” and would support the Florence Police Department should they disperse demonstrations that “turn unlawful.” In the same message, Holt said, “First Amendment Rights apply to everyone. … We support the freedom of speech and the expression of differing viewpoints.”

The Alabama Democrats, in a press release Wednesday, also demanded that Holt agree to remove the confederate monument at the front of the Lauderdale County courthouse.

“If the mayor refuses to condemn the KKK and white supremacy, the statue on Court Street isn’t the only monument to white supremacy that needs to be removed, the Confederate relic serving as Florence’s mayor needs to be removed as well,” the party said.

This comes nearly four months after Holt recommend the statue be moved to Soldier’s Rest at the Florence City Cemetery.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

On July 7, the Florence City Council unanimously agreed to move the statue, but deadlocked on whether it was the responsibility of the county (the statue is on county property) or the city (to whom the statue was originally donated).

Eventually the Florence City Council asked the county commission for a resolution to allow them to move it off county property. The county commission then cited the 2017 Alabama Memorial Preservation Act, which requires state permission before removing historic monuments, many of them Confederate monuments.

Earlier this month, a group of Florence residents filed a lawsuit against the mayor, the Florence City Council and the Alabama division president of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Suzanna E. Rawlins.

The three residents asked the court to “to protect and preserve” the confederate statue at the county courthouse. The Lauderdale County Republican Executive Committee came out in support of that lawsuit.

John is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can contact him at [email protected] or via Twitter.

More from the Alabama Political Reporter

Featured Opinion

The 2023 Democratic agenda is full of very popular ideas. Almost none will pass. And that's a problem we should fix.

Party politics

Tensions ran high at the State Democratic Executive Committee on Saturday as members fought over changes.

Featured Opinion

The party is gearing up for a meeting on Saturday in which proposed bylaws changes are sure to be hotly debated.

Party politics

The Alabama Democratic Party is scheduled to consider significant changes to its party bylaws on Saturday.


Fear and uncertainty. That’s all it takes to make good people stop helping one another.


Dismukes' trial would have begun today, but an order filed Thursday reset the date.


Dismukes is alleged to have stolen well over $2,500 worth of flooring materials from his former employer between 2016 and 2018.

Featured Opinion

Not one Democrat was competitive in statewide races, Republicans held their supermajorities, and Democratic party leaders are publicly feuding.