MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A new chair and vice chair were elected to the Alabama Democratic Party during a Saturday meeting.
The party elected state Rep. Christopher England, Tuscaloosa, as chair of the party and former state Rep. Patricia Todd as vice chair. England got 104 of 171 ballots cast at the meeting of the State Democratic Executive Committee and becomes the first black chair elected.
U.S. Senator Doug Jones issued a statement after the election:
“Today’s meeting was an historic achievement and a step in the right direction for the Alabama Democratic Party and the state of Alabama as a whole. Today, Alabama Democrats overwhelmingly demonstrated their commitment to creating a more inclusive, transparent and diverse state party. I’m grateful for the hard work of past party leadership, and I’m hopeful that we can come together as a stronger state party. Representative England and Patricia Todd deserve sincere congratulations on their new leadership roles and I’m encouraged by the many new caucuses and at-large members who have joined the state party today. Alabama Democrats should be proud.”
The vote came after all SDEC members in attendance voted to remove Chair Nancy Worley and Vice Chair Randy Kelley. Worley was told in 2018 by the Democratic National Committee she had to submit new bylaws and hold a new leadership election.
The DNC rejected Worley’s submitted bylaws. In October, a faction within the party approved a separate set of bylaws that they operate under.
On Friday, the Alabama Supreme Court stayed a temporary restraining order filed by Worley, who claimed the meeting was unauthorized and being held illegally because it operated under bylaws that are not valid. Both factions of the party operate under different bylaws.
Worley has said she will not step down as chair. WSFA 12 News has reached out to Worley for comment, but has not been able to get a response.