State Senator Harri Anne Smith speaks out about removal from primary ballot

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - "I wanted to let you know I am a Republican...a strong Republican."

It's that message District 29 State Senator Harri Anne Smith tried to drive home to Alabama Republican Party members.

"I have disappointed a lot of you and for that I'm very sorry," said Smith during an Alabama Republican Party Candidate Committee meeting.

But sorry wasn't good enough.  Despite efforts to regain confidence from her fellow Republicans, Smith was booted from the party.

"By Senator Smith's [action] and support of a Democrat over a Republican in a race, that is in stark contrast of the bylaws," says Alabama Republican Party Communications Director, Philip Bryan.

He says Smith broke Republican rules when she endorsed Bobby Bright in the 2nd Congressional district race after losing the primary to her Republican opponent, Jay Love.

"Many feel breaking that bylaw constitutes taking her off the ballot as a Republican."

Smith says she supported Bright because she felt it was best for her constituents.

"Of course the decision today is very disheartening.  I really went in there with a positive attitude because I really wanted to run on the Republican ticket, and I really wanted the people of Senate District 29 to be able to make that decision," she says.

Smith's still trying to decide if she'll run as an independent and looking to her constituents for help.

"Over the next few weeks I'm going to take a little time and talk with them and see what they think about this decision and kinda talk to them about what they want me to do. That's what I've always done and that's what I'm going to do now."

Smith says whatever she does she'll still be a Republican.  When asked if she thinks she'll ever be on a Republican ticket again, she says that's in the hands of the committee. Committee members declined to comment on if this action could hinder her chances of being a GOP candidate in the future.

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