Friday afternoon, a three-judge federal panel ruled against Dothan businessman Jeff Coleman in his plea to appear on the upcoming Republican primary election ballot to seek Alabama’s second congressional seat.
The case featured the question as to whether Coleman would be allowed to appear on the ballot given that the Alabama Republican Party’s (ALGOP) January 28 qualifying deadline had already passed.
Coleman attempted to launch a last-second bid after a federal panel on January 25 ruled that Alabama’s redistricted congressional map had to be redrawn. The ruling also ordered the qualifying deadline to be extended until February 11. Coleman attempted to file his candidacy with ALGOP on February 10.
However, the U.S. Supreme Court on February 7 halted the lower court’s ruling.
Coleman on February 13 asked the court to intervene to allow him to become certified as a candidate.
In Friday’s ruling, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama found that Coleman could not establish that he suffered injury in the matter.
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, a defendant in the case, had indicated to Coleman that he would certify the list of candidates’ names that were provided to him by ALGOP. Given Merrill’s intentions, Coleman could not establish that he would be affected by the secretary of state’s actions.
Further, the court determined that it did “not have the power to order the Alabama Republican Party to certify Mr. Coleman’s name to Secretary Merrill.”
Due to the court’s ruling, incumbent U.S. Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) will run unopposed in the GOP primary in his bid to seek a second term as a member of Congress.
When asked for comment by Yellowhammer News, Moore expressed that he was “pleased” with the court’s decision and said he remained focused on serving his constituents.
“I’m pleased with the decision as it protects the autonomy of our Party in deciding who is on our ballot, but whatever the court had decided, it wouldn’t change my focus on continuing to serve the people of the 2nd Congressional District,” stated Moore.
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL