MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Alabama Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy Worley responded to an open letter released Wednesday by House Minority Leader Craig Ford in which he said the party is on "life support" and urged both she and fellow party leader Joe Reed to resign.
Worley slammed Ford's letter as "a desperate attempt to grab a headline when one's job as minority leader is on the line." She added that Ford has never contacted her to discuss his concerns, instead, "attack[ing] for attention when he should be working for our Democratic ticket."
Ford has announced that he will step down as house minority leader. "My focus will be on the future of our state, and I will let new leaders step forward to focus on the future of our party," he wrote. It's widely speculated Ford will make a run at the governor's office in 2018.
The Alabama Democratic Party, once so dominant in state politics that it held every statewide office, now finds itself on the outside looking in. Republicans have flipped the state, taking every constitutional office and creating supermajorities in both chambers of the legislature.
Rep. Ford's letter said the party needs "immediate and specific changes", lamenting its decline in many of the state's 67 counties. "As far as I can tell, it looks like some counties may not even have a local party,' he said.
Ford asked both Worley and Reed to resign saying, "it has become abundantly clear that you are far more concerned with holding on to your own power within the party than you are with trying to win back the offices Democrats have lost."
"I recognize people who are losing power, trying to blame anyone but themselves for losses, making excuses, grasping for headlines, etc." Worley responded. "While I am working hard each day as Democratic Party Chair to elect the most qualified, well-prepared, working family-focused president of the United States, some individuals seem to be spending their time studying the sexist, racist tactics of the Republican nominee," Worley said.
Ford letter criticizes state party leadership for staying silent on issues including House Speaker Mike Hubbard's conviction, Chief Justice Roy Moore's suspension, and Donald Trump's presidential campaign controversies.
Craig Ford's entire letter reads:
Nancy Worley's entire statement reads:
Joe Ree has not reacted to the public letter.