Although the Alabama Democratic Party appears to have elected a new chairman earlier this month, Nancy Worley maintains she is still the legitimate party chairman and vows to fight to remain in charge of the party.
During an appearance on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal” on Friday, Worley addressed the apparent schism in the party.
She told APTV’s Don Dailey racism was “at the core” of the split and said white Democrats from the northern part of Alabama made up the “splinter” of the party.
“[I] think that racism is at the core of this whole issue,” she said. “It’s really at the core of our politics in Alabama. Right now, if you look, the Republican Party is a dominant white party. And the Democratic Party has 70% of its voters who are black. Well, you look at this splinter of our party, and it is the white, by and large North Alabama folks — and I’m from there, and I see this. The North Alabama white contingency, which makes up a very small number of Democratic voters, has splintered off to try to be the party. If you look at the people who showed up at last weekend’s meetings, which was our meeting — the state Democratic executive committee, they were by and large black with about five or six whites mixed in. Now that tells you just how divided the party is by race.”
Later in the segment, Worley discussed a reported incident in which she allegedly threatened to pull a gun on a volunteer that would not leave the Democratic Party’s headquarters. She acknowledged the threat and argued it was justified given she wanted to protect the qualification paperwork.
“Most of the volunteers left,” she said. “And I’m very appreciative — and after they gathered up things and whatever, about 6:30, I waited for an hour and a half after qualifying is closed, and I asked again. There were a couple left, and I asked that they leave so that the staff could be very watchful over that paperwork and that it be kept very accurate. And one of those two left. The other one stayed on, and I did say, ‘You know, I guess I’m going to have to go get my gun,’ which was in my purse. But anyway, it was said half-jokingly but it was serious in the insistence that we don’t need volunteers up here possibly, and I’m not going to say that anyone was going to intentionally, try to mix up paperwork and make the staff look bad — but it’s always possible that errors can be made, mistakes can be made. So, the real reason for asking them to leave was so we didn’t have the possibility of so many hands shuffling papers around.”