Alabama Democrats select new Montgomery family court judge candidate

Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 5:16 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - It’s the conclusion of the controversy following the removal of the Democratic nominee for family court judge in Montgomery. Under new leadership, the Alabama democratic party has selected a replacement for Sebrina Martin, who was removed from her seat last month. But some are confused by the process to select a new candidate that took place behind closed doors.

“Because if you disqualify Sebrina Martin, there was only Fernando Morgan in the race,” said Montgomery resident Carolyn Eaves.

Morgan lost the judgeship nomination to Martin by 66%.

Zack Buckner, a member of the Democratic Party executive committee, says a different process was used. His statement said,Currently, there is no process for a Special Election which I think provides a little more voter involvement. Special Elections are very expensive and they are not conducted for just one race. 66% of the people didn’t vote for Fernando! Would it be right to disregard that majority?... In those cases, the Qualification Period is reopened. So, Azzie Taylor, Laura Clemons, Fernando Morgan, and Monica Arrington qualified. This is a new contest for the Judgeship. The Primary Election is over! Now, everybody on the Executive Committee were popular elected by the people in the State Legislature District. They represented the people and elected Monica Arrington from the 4 candidate that appeared before the Executive Committee. NO PROCESS EXISTED WHERE WE COULD JUST GIVE FERNANDO THE SEAT! We had to follow the rules which govern the process. Even if you don’t agree with the choice, the process is fairest other than a Special Election.”

“We represent the voters. The voters put us in that position,” said Randy Kelley, chair of the Alabama Democratic Party.

Kelley says the voters put them in the position to select the party’s new candidate for Montgomery family court judge, Monica Arrington.

“I’m legally qualified, politically qualified, and I bring a different perspective,” Arrington said at the Democratic organizational meeting over the weekend.

“If we worked together, electing other candidates to office,” said Kelley.

When asked if there was anything he’d like to say to people who are concerned about the process, Kelley said “no.”

“There’s nothing I could say about the concern. We nominated her, and it was a vacancy, and nominated her and she was elected by the Democratic Party,” said Kelley.

Arrington will be on the ballot unopposed this November.

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