Dispute over new chair, vice chair elected to Alabama Democratic Party

Updated: Nov. 3, 2019 at 1:07 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A new chair and vice chair were elected to the Alabama Democratic Party during Saturday’s State Democratic Executive Committee meeting.

The party elected state Rep. Christopher England, of 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 and was the first African-American to be elected to that position.

The vote came after the SDEC members in attendance voted unanimously to remove Chair Nancy Worley and Vice Chair Randy Kelley.

On Friday, the Alabama Supreme Court stayed a temporary restraining order filed by Worley, who claimed the meeting was unauthorized and being held illegally.

“Thank you for your service," is all England had to say about Worley, who he said was not a good party leader.

“This is what inevitable feels like when people get sick and tired of inactivity," England said.

The election was organized in-part by U.S. Senator Doug Jones, who has also been critical of Worley’s leadership in the past.

“This is a huge step for the state," Jones said.

“The energy you saw in this room today is infectious. We’re going to bring people back to this party and we’re going to work up and down the ballot to be competitive," England said.

Rebuilding the state’s Democratic party is England’s first priority as party chair.

“This is a complete rebuild. So, that means that we need to get people in place to start working and get staff together and go from there," England said.

England also wants to make Alabama’s Democratic party a competitive one.

“We are going to be competitive. We are going to enter ourselves into the public debate, and we’re going to make sure that people recognize that there are two sides and there are two parties in the state of Alabama," England said.

“We need a competitive two-party system to make sure that ideas are out there and that we compete for votes with ideas and things on a local level that’s what this means today," Jones said.

Both the Alabama Supreme Court and the Democratic National Committee are in support of Saturday’s meeting and the elections that took place.

Worley has said she will not step down as chair. WSFA 12 News has reached out to Worley for comment but has not heard back.

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