Tripp Powell, a Tuscaloosa businessman and Republican candidate for the Alabama State Senate District 21, has ended his run for office after the Alabama Republican Party dropped him from the primary ticket, according to a statement from Powell’s campaign.
A $500 donation to Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox’s campaign for governor — during which he ran as a Democrat — proved the deciding factor in the 21-member inner committee’s decision to remove Powell from the ballot.
Alabama Republican Party bylaws allow the removal of a Republican candidate from the ballot if the candidate has “publicly participated in the primary election of another political party or publicly supported a nominee of another political party.”
In an interview given to the Montgomery Advertiser, Powell insisted that he wasn’t an elected official at the time of his donation to Maddox’s campaign, and the rule, he felt, was not applied fairly in his case.
“I do not agree with the decision of this 21-person committee, but if I am, in fact, a Republican, I must agree with the process followed by the Republican Party. If I disagree with that process, then I should take steps to change it. But I can’t stop being a Republican,” Powell said in a Monday release. “It is with the deepest humility and gratitude that I thank those who have already shown support for our campaign. I believe with all my heart we would have been victorious. I will not forget you.”
Incumbent state Sen. Gerald Allen, R-Cottondale, is the sole Republican candidate running for Senate District 21 and faces Democratic candidate Lisa Ward, a resident of Lake View in Tuscaloosa County, who is the only Democratic candidate to qualify for the Tuscaloosa seat.
Powell, a local businessman and former football player at the University of Alabama, said the decision to end his campaign is “against my nature as a competitor, as a fighter. But it is true to my nature and to my convictions as a conservative.”
“I am the same Republican today that I was two weeks ago,” Powell said. “I cannot – and I will not – become someone else just to seek election to this office.”
The Republican primary is scheduled for May 24.