Montgomery, AL (WSFA) – Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Ron Sparks picked up a big endorsement Saturday from the Alabama New South Coalition.
The predominately black group is throwing their support behind Sparks, instead of Congressman Artur Davis.
The group's leadership went into the screening process Saturday saying the decision between Davis and Sparks was too close to call, but when it came time to decide, members say the group voted overwhelmingly in support of Sparks.
They say their decision came down to two things—Davis' vote against the Healthcare Bill and his decision not to attend Saturday's screening; Sparks did attend.
Senator Hank Sanders, the past president of the group said, "I think that Congressman Davis did himself and the state a disservice not to come and be screened. Many members just wanted to hear his rationale for not voting for the healthcare bill."
Davis argues African American voters need no permission to decide whom they favor in the Governor's race.
He says the day has ended when these groups decide who wins the support of black voters in this state
But Coalition members viewed the move as a snub and something they say will hurt him come June.
It was no surprise; however, that Davis would not attend those screenings. He announced earlier in the week that he would not seek endorsements from these African American political groups.
If you'll recall, Davis won his Congressional seat in 2002 without the support of these organizations.
The group also endorsed Lt. Gov. Jim Folsom Jr. for re-election, Mobile Attorney Michel Nicrosi for Attorney General, and Birmingham Attorney Jeremy Sherer for State Treasurer.