Chairman John Wahl secured a second term as leader of the Alabama Republican Party on Saturday, having been selected without opposition during the state party’s Winter Meeting in Birmingham.
Wahl was first elected chairman in 2021.
“Serving you as chairman truly is an honor and privilege for me,” Wahl said from the podium on Saturday. “It is a labor of love, and I appreciate all of you.”
At the time of his initial victory two years ago, Wahl was the youngest state Republican Party chairman in the country. He also serves as vice chairman of the Republican National Committee for the Southern Region, a position he was elected to in late January.
Wahl is a butterfly farmer by profession, having worked as a political consultant prior to his ascension to the chairmanship, and is a native of Athens.
Joan Reynolds, party finance chair and head of the Shelby County Republican Party, was elected vice chair over Pat Wilson, vice chair for the Third, Sixth, and Seventh Congressional Districts, and Gregg Phillips, a conspiracy theorist and podcast host who was the executive producer for the Dinesh D’Souza’s film “2000 Mules.” Phillips announced his candidacy only one day prior to the election and was not present at the meeting on Saturday.
Former vice chairman John Skipper, who could not attend Saturday’s meeting for medical reasons, did not seek a second term.
The nomination for Phillips on the floor ran into difficulties when the initial nominator, a woman from Jefferson County, was found to be a guest and not a member of the state executive committee, which is a requirement for officer nominations.
Deanna Frankowski, secretary of the Jefferson County Republican Party and the head of Hoover constituent services for U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Alabama, eventually nominated Phillips, appearing unsure of his name at first.
No committee member rose to speak on his behalf, and the parliamentary question as to whether party bylaws allowed a non-member to speak as a representative for Phillips, who himself is not an executive committee member, remained unanswered. Wahl allowed the body to rule on the issue.
In a voice vote, committee members present denied any non-member to speak on Phillips’ behalf.
In the congressional district chairman races, former Congressman Mo Brooks, who represented the district between 2010 and 2020, won his bid for District 5 chair, replacing outgoing chairman Elbert Peters. State Sen. Sam Givhan, R-Huntsville, nominated Brooks for the position.
Previously, Brooks attempted but failed to be selected for the party executive committee, gaining only two votes.
State executive members also approved a resolution supporting recently announced legislation proposing additional revisions to correctional incentive time, commonly referred to as “good time.” State Sen. April Weaver, R-Alabaster, sponsors that bill, which would act as a legislative follow up to Gov. Kay Ivey’s recent executive order tightening the state’s “good time” incentive procedures and providing a new set of uniform standards for the revocation of correctional incentive time.
Weaver’s bill will be considered during the upcoming 2023 Legislative Session, which will begin in March.