Alabama Dem Party ramps up 2020 election effort, hires 3 staffers
The Alabama Democratic Party has hired three operatives in preparation for the upcoming election this November.
“With these three hires, we continue the important work of rebuilding the infrastructure of the Alabama Democratic Party,” said the Democratic National Committee (DNC)-recognized Chairman Rep. Christopher England (D-Tuscaloosa).
The Alabama Democratic Party is still embroiled in an ongoing dispute between England and Nancy Worley over who is the rightful chairperson of the state party.
Worley, who is backed by longtime Democratic party boss Joe Reed, has sued to regain control of the party’s assets and sole claim to its chairmanship. Worley had served as chair of the party for many years before the struggle with England arose.
Most recently, Montgomery judge Greg Griffin chose not to grant England a dismissal of the suit brought by Worley.
The DNC recognizes England as the state party chair. Additionally, aides loyal to England have control over most of the party’s assets such as the party’s website, social media accounts and the headquarters building in Montgomery.
The dispute between the two factions of Alabama Democrats had previously led to the freezing of the state party’s official bank accounts.
The hiring of staff would seem to indicate the England regime has either unlocked the party’s previously frozen bank accounts or raised money of their own. Yellowhammer News’ phone request to party headquarters for clarification on the status of the bank accounts was not immediately returned on Wednesday.
Wade Perry, a veteran of many Alabama campaigns, will take on the executive director role at the party. Most prominently in recent years, Perry was the campaign manager for Sen. Doug Jones’ (D-AL) upset of former Judge Roy Moore in the 2017 special election for the U.S. Senate.
In describing his role, the party says Perry “will manage the Party’s Montgomery headquarters, set the strategic direction for the Party, and oversee all of the functions of the Alabama Democratic Party.”
Dexter Strong of Huntsville has gotten the nod as the new director of communications for the Alabama Democrat Party. Strong is an ordained minister and University of Alabama graduate. He served as the head strategist for Peter Joffrion’s unsuccessful campaign against incumbent U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) in 2018.
A release says Strong enters the job with the mandate to “communicate the priorities, values, and vision of the party to its constituents and voters.”
Crystal Smitherman has been tabbed the Democrats’ manager of strategic engagement and research. Smitherman is currently an elected member of the Birmingham City Council, representing District 6. Smitherman has a law degree from the University of Alabama and earned her undergraduate degree at Hampton University.
Smitherman practices law with her father, State Senator Rodger Smitherman (D-Birmingham), who has represented part of the Birmingham area in the legislature’s upper chamber since 1994.
The notice made public by the state party noted that as part of her new job the younger Smitherman “will communicate the priorities and vision of the Party to its constituents. She also will add an important research background regarding pending and proposed legislation, and other key issues.”
England concluded, “With these first three hires, you can see we’re building party infrastructure, and we will recruit candidates, reach voters, and win elections. This is a Party for everyone in Alabama. It doesn’t matter your age, sexual orientation, gender, race, or economic status. Alabama Democrats are going to come and ask for your vote.”
Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: email@example.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.