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Doug Jones engineers failed takeover of the Alabama Democratic Party

Longtime incumbent Nancy Worley defeated Montgomery attorney Peck Fox as chair of the Alabama Democratic Party after Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) nominated and backed the challenger during the intraparty elections.

Minutes before the meeting, Jones shocked Alabama’s political world by announcing his backing of the leadership coup. Alabama’s junior senator signaled that he wanted change and lamented that the state’s Democratic Party had not helped him enough during his victory over Judge Roy Moore in 2017.

Until Jones’ sneak-attack-support came to light Saturday morning, Worley was expected to comfortably win re-election.

House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, who – unlike Jones – did not attend the elections, also supported the shakeup in leadership, as did prominent state Rep. Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa).

“Now is the perfect time for a transition,” Daniels said on Friday, via the Associated Press. “More than any time before these candidates need a strong party, a stronger party.”

Worley served as Alabama Secretary of State from 2003-2007 and was the party’s vice-chairwoman from 2007 until taking its helm in 2013. She is also a former two-term president of the Alabama Education Association (AEA).

In a statement, AL GOP Party Chair Terry Lathan congratulated Worley, adding “game on.”

“In an ALGOP Steering Committee meeting for a few hours,” Lathan said. “However, upon hearing the news, the committee cheered. Game on. I like our odds.”

“We congratulate Chairman Worley on her victory,” she added.

Fox is a political veteran in his own right, working for the late Sen. Howell Heflin in Washington, D.C. and for former Lt. Gov. Jim Folsom.

After losing today’s vote for party chair, Fox ran for vice-chair and was defeated once again.

This rift in party leadership comes months before the critical November General Election, in which the state’s minority party will attempt to elect its candidates over Republicans.

Jones has recently come under fire for not committing to back President Donald Trump’s nominee to the United States Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Jones does not plan to meet with Kavanaugh before his confirmation hearing.

 

 

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

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