Alabama Democrats up against the clock for gubernatorial candida - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Alabama Democrats up against the clock for gubernatorial candidates

Posted: Updated:
abc3340.com abc3340.com

It's been said that success breeds complacency. For decades, the Democratic party dominated state politics. Today, the political climate has done a complete 180. Not a single Democrat holds a statewide office in Alabama. To top it off, we're less than a year away from party primaries, and no Democratic candidates have announced their bids for the state's highest office, the Governor's seat.

Whether there is hope for the party depends on who you talk to. Some are optimistic candidates will come forward and have a good shot a winning. Others say they want to put up a good fight, but that 2014 will likely not be their year.

One thing they all seem to agree on is this: The party has some work to do if it wants to improve their standing.

"I think maybe the democrats became a little too comfortable, didn't work as hard as they once worked. And now we're having to go back to that, really getting out the important issues to people," said Nancy Worley, acting chair for the Alabama Democratic party.

Worley says the Alabama Democrats became a little lazy, and that's largely why Democrats are struggling to regain a foothold in Alabama.

"Democrats were at one time basically the only party. Winning the party primary was tantamount to being elected in this state. And when we became a two party state, I think people have adjusted to that more, and they're beginning to look at the platforms of the two parties," said Worley.

As of February 2013, according to a Gallop Politics Poll, more than fifty percent of Alabamians call themselves conservative.

The uphill battle for democrats is only made worse by internal issues. A few months ago, worley declared the party was broke. That was shortly after former chairman Mark Kennedy left the party to form his own grassroots organization, the Alabama Democratic Majority.

"I made the determination that my energies and my focus on wanting to build a larger and broader base of democrats throughout Alabama, would be better served if I in fact left the party but still remained active in democratic party politics," said Kennedy.

Kennedy insists he supports Democratic ideals and candidates. But he admits, the party is going through troubling times.

"Could things be better as it relates to the status of the state party? Absolutely. But is the problems that they're having going to define whether we can elect democrats? Absolutely not," said Kennedy.

Speaking of elections, the primaries are less than a year away, and November 2014 is fast approaching.

"We're going to focus first of all on defeating the super majority in the Alabama house and senate. Right now Alabama democratic members of the legislature have no voice," said Kennedy.

Then there's this. No Democratic candidates have stepped up to run for the Governor's seat. It's a huge difference from the 2010 gubernatorial race when Democratic candidates were campaigning a year and half prior to elections.

"I think we'll have some good candidates step up to the plate. I don't know how many yet, but I think we're going to have some formidable candidates," said Worley.

Kennedy could only name one person.

"I don't think that it's a surprise that Sue Bell Cobb has evidenced an interest in considering running," he said.

So what does a lack of Democratic presence mean for Alabamians? Worely says it means the Republican Party will continue to gain votes by pressing hot button, controversial issues.

"The Republicans use some emotional, hot button issues to target people," she said.  

Alabama Republican Party Chairman, Bill Armistead, had this to say.

"I think the democrats are just looking for excuses for why they are not performing and why they can't get voters to vote for them," said Armistead.

Armistead believes it will be difficult for Democrats to find a serious contender for the gubernatorial election. But this would be his approach if he were in their shoes.

"The Democrats are likely to focus their efforts in 2014 on a few selected races. At least that's what I would do, so I suspect they'll go after a few legislative seat they think they can pick up," said Armistead.

Kennedy says it boils down to this.

"We sat down and became lazy and we did not go out and start organizing people and engaging people."

We reached out to Sue Bell Cobb. She would not say whether she plans to put her name in the hat for Governor. However, she did say she appreciates the support she has been getting encouraging her to run. However, she is not ready to make a public statement at this point.

  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Clean out your cabinets for Drug Take-Back Day

    Clean out your cabinets for Drug Take-Back Day

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 1:38 PM EDT2014-09-02 17:38:07 GMT
    Do you have a drawer or cabinet of medicines? Are any of them out of date? Now is the time to check because you can safely dispose of the medications at the Etowah County Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. It is part of a nationwide effort. The event will be Saturday, September 27. A take-back station will be set up at the East Gadsden Walmart from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.A law enforcement officer will remain with the drug disposal box at all times, and the drugs that are turned in will be tr...More >>
    Do you have a drawer or cabinet of medicines? Are any of them out of date? Now is the time to check because you can safely dispose of the medications at the Etowah County Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. It is part of a nationwide effort. The event will be Saturday, September 27. A take-back station will be set up at the East Gadsden Walmart from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.A law enforcement officer will remain with the drug disposal box at all times, and the drugs that are turned in will be tr...More >>
  • Arrest made in large level extortion scheme

    Arrest made in large level extortion scheme

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:45 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:45:16 GMT
    "Everett Leon Stout, 72 and Miriam Clair Schultz, 67 are charged with 14 counts of extortion.More >>
    "Everett Leon Stout, 72 and Miriam Clair Schultz, 67 are charged with 14 counts of extortion.More >>
  • Gadsden police recover more than 300 stolen items; felony charges against suspected fence

    Gadsden police recover more than 300 stolen items; felony charges against suspected fence

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:22 PM EDT2014-08-29 03:22:34 GMT
    Joe Walker Pearl (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)Joe Walker Pearl (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)
    Police in Gadsden are trying to return hundreds of stolen items to their rightful owners. Captain Paul Cody said officers bust a large fencing operation this week. Joe Pearl, 75, is the suspect in the case. It took a long time to sort through and document a very wide range of stolen property. "We've collected a lot of stuff," Cody said. "Toilet paper. We have non-firearms related weapons, we have karaoke machines, musical instruments, car stereos, underwear."More >>
    Police in Gadsden are trying to return hundreds of stolen items to their rightful owners. Captain Paul Cody said officers bust a large fencing operation this week. Joe Pearl, 75, is the suspect in the case. It took a long time to sort through and document a very wide range of stolen property. "We've collected a lot of stuff," Cody said. "Toilet paper. We have non-firearms related weapons, we have karaoke machines, musical instruments, car stereos, underwear."More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Alabama, FSU after week 1: Overrated or over reactions?

    Alabama, FSU after week 1: Overrated or over reactions?

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:51 PM EDT2014-09-02 21:51:06 GMT
    Alabama got into a back-and-forth game against West Virginia before beating the Mountaineers 33-23 in Atlanta. The problems came mostly on the defensive side for Nick Saban's Crimson Tide, which had problems with pass coverage.More >>
    Alabama got into a back-and-forth game against West Virginia before beating the Mountaineers 33-23 in Atlanta. The problems came mostly on the defensive side for Nick Saban's Crimson Tide, which had problems with pass coverage.More >>
  • 30 teens escape from Nashville detention center

    30 teens escape from Nashville detention center

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:42 PM EDT2014-09-02 21:42:34 GMT
    A spokesman says more than 30 teens escaped from a Nashville youth detention center and 17 are still being sought.More >>
    Thirty teens "overwhelmed" their minders at a juvenile detention center by simultaneously breaking out of four dormitories and then crawling under a weak spot in a chain-link fence. By late Tuesday, eight were still on the...More >>
  • JeffCo EMA Council drafting bylaws

    JeffCo EMA Council drafting bylaws

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:40 PM EDT2014-09-02 21:40:16 GMT
    The board overseeing the Jefferson County EMA is making changes. It's drafting bylaws and officially changing its name. This comes after questions were raised about whether the board was properly upholding the Alabama Open Meetings Act.More >>
    The board overseeing the Jefferson County EMA is making changes. It's drafting bylaws and officially changing its name. This comes after questions were raised about whether the board was properly upholding the Alabama Open Meetings Act.More >>
  • NFL suspends Irsay 6 games, fines him $500,000

    NFL suspends Irsay 6 games, fines him $500,000

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:32 PM EDT2014-09-02 21:32:00 GMT
    Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated stemming from his arrest after a traffic stop in March.More >>
    The NFL suspended Jim Irsay for the first six games of the season and fined him $500,000 for violating its personal conduct policy, coming down hard on the Indianapolis Colts owner Tuesday just hours after he pleaded...More >>
  • Poll shows most U.S. parents happy with schools

    Poll shows most U.S. parents happy with schools

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:18 PM EDT2014-09-02 21:18:23 GMT
    A new survey indicates that a majority of parents in the United States with children in public school systems would rate the quality of their children's schools as above average. Among those polled, 66 percent of parents would rate the quality of their child's school as above average or excellent. However, looking deeper in the demographics shows that minority parents are more likely to believe their children's school is average or worse.The study was released by Vox Populi Polling.More >>
    A new survey indicates that a majority of parents in the United States with children in public school systems would rate the quality of their children's schools as above average. Among those polled, 66 percent of parents would rate the quality of their child's school as above average or excellent. However, looking deeper in the demographics shows that minority parents are more likely to believe their children's school is average or worse.The study was released by Vox Populi Polling.
    More >>
  • Video appears to show beheading of US journalist Steven Sotloff by ISIS

    Video appears to show beheading of US journalist Steven Sotloff by ISIS

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-09-02 21:15:56 GMT
    An Internet video purports to show the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff by the Islamic State group.More >>
    An Internet video purports to show the beheading of U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff by the Islamic State group.
    More >>
  • College football games reportedly seen on digital billboards in Birmingham

    College football games reportedly seen on digital billboards in Birmingham

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:11 PM EDT2014-09-02 21:11:45 GMT
    Distracted driving comes in many forms:  texting, eating and now watching football from a billboard. This past Saturday, some of our viewers and Facebook friends say they saw football plays and scores and they drove past a digital billboard on I-65 through downtown.More >>
    Distracted driving comes in many forms:  texting, eating and now watching football from a billboard. This past Saturday, some of our viewers and Facebook friends say they saw football plays and scores and they drove past a digital billboard on I-65 through downtown.
    More >>
  • Richard Joseph SalonSpas owners get 3 years in prison for tax fraud

    Richard Joseph SalonSpas owners get 3 years in prison for tax fraud

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:04 PM EDT2014-09-02 21:04:15 GMT
    Fifty-four-year-old Richard Joseph Smith and 55-year-old Timothy Euell Brown were sentenced Tuesday in Birmingham by U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon.More >>
    Fifty-four-year-old Richard Joseph Smith and 55-year-old Timothy Euell Brown were sentenced Tuesday in Birmingham by U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon.More >>