Alabama democrats push for party meeting on bylaws

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Some Alabama Democrats are trying to call a state meeting amid a looming deadline from Democratic National Committee officials and an ongoing power struggle over the direction of the state party.

U.S. Sen. Doug Jones is among those seeking an Oct. 5 meeting of the Alabama Democratic Party’s executive committee. Jones’ campaign started a “Fix the Party” website for committee members to review proposed new party bylaws and submit a meeting request.

The Democratic National Committee in February ordered Alabama to update bylaws to provide representation of more minorities — not just African Americans — in the party and to hold new chair and vice-chair elections. A DNC panel this month gave the state party until Oct. 5 to approve the new bylaws, the latest in a series of deadlines given to the state party.

Alabama Democratic Party Chair Nancy Worley scheduled an executive committee meeting for Oct. 12, a week after the deadline. She said the meeting was scheduled then so it wouldn’t interfere with October mayoral races.

Executive committee members can call their own meeting if a majority of committee members agree.

The Jones’ campaign said in an emailed statement that it created the “Fix The Party” website so members could easily access and view the new DNC-approved bylaws and the letters from DNC Chairman Tom Perez and the Rules and Bylaws Committee.

“As of this afternoon we are confident that we will have enough support from SDEC members to call for the October 5th meeting,” the campaign statement read.

Perez this month said the state party had “fallen far short of meeting its basic obligations” and national party officials have withheld funds because of the chronic problems.

Worley, who was reelected as party chair last year, wrote in a text message that “malcontents” are pushing for the Oct. 5 meeting. She said the party leadership submitted several sets of bylaws, but said national officials seemed to always have a moving target. Worley said she believed the “real problem” is that some in the party remain unhappy with the result of last year’s leadership elections. Worley won reelection as party chair over a nominee backed by Jones.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin on Friday said the party must “get it right.”

“The Alabama Democratic Party must be a platform for progress for our state. As the mayor of the most progressive city in the state, we’re counting on the state party to get it right. If we’re going to have success in the future we just have a strong two-party state,” Woodfin wrote in an email.

Republished with the permission of the Associated Press.