U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D–Mountain Brook) appeared Monday on FM Talk 1065’s “Mobile Mornings” and discussed the ongoing intraparty battle in Alabama’s Democratic party.
Jones began the interview by asserting Rep. Chris England (D–Tuscaloosa) was the head of the state party.
Both England and longtime party head Nancy Worley have recently been voted by different groups of Democrats to be the head of the Alabama Democratic Party.
Jones continued by contending that the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which backs England, is the ultimate authority in these situations.
“It’s from the national group that any state party exists,” he told interviewer Sean Sullivan.
Jones’ comment stands in opposition to Nancy Worley’s assertion on “Capitol Journal” that the group led by England, and backed by Jones and the DNC, is the “federal Democratic Party.” Worley contends she still leads the “state democratic executive committee.”
When Sullivan asked Jones about Worley’s remarks, Jones said “it’s just silly, it’s just a silly comment” before listing more evidence for England’s chairmanship over Worley’s.
This most recent back-and-forth between Jones and Worley continues a fight that started in August 2018 when Jones backed his ally Peck Fox’s attempt to oust Worley from her position as state chair.
Worley defeated Fox at that election. Still, due to irregularities in the way the vote was conducted, as well as an alleged lack of accordance with the national party’s bylaws, the DNC revoked her credentials.
After over a year of struggle, a sizeable contingent of Alabama Democrats elected England chair of the Democratic Party. That contingent says they had a quorum present for their elections.
Jones said a tweet from Secretary of State John Merrill was an implicit endorsement of England’s legitimacy from the Alabama state government.
This morning, we had a good meeting with State Democratic Party Leaders Jim Spearman and Ralph Young at the State Capitol! They are working hard to ensure that the transition of new leadership in the Democratic Party is seamless and that their candidates will be well represented! pic.twitter.com/pwq7XzKe4B
— John Merrill (@JohnHMerrill) November 6, 2019
England’s group has taken charge of the state party’s twitter feed and facebook page. The state party’s website has been changed to reflect Chris England as chairman. Jones said in the interview that it is now England supporters working at the party’s office in Montgomery.
“There’s no one who’s going to effectively believe Ms. Worley is head of the party if she can’t even get into the office,” said Jones.
Worley has not conceded defeat in the face of the ongoing challenges to her leadership.
“When you know you’re right, you keep fighting,” she told APT’s Don Dailey.
Worley has remained steadfast in maintaining the illegitimacy of England’s group. She has filed a lawsuit to try and retain control of the state party.
Worley’s key ally is longtime Democratic Party power player Joe Reed. Reed is the head of the Alabama Democratic Conference, a group that represents black voters in the Democratic Party. Reed continues to back Worley and, at a recent meeting, started raising money to back Worley’s court challenge against the England group.
The England faction’s motion to dismiss the Worley lawsuit will be heard on December 5.
“This is not something we do in Alabama or America,” Jones said on what he views as Worley’s refusal to leave the office.
Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.