A house divided: Alabama House GOP caucus split over leadership, direction

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Ed Henry

The 72 Republicans that hold a super-majority in the 105-member Alabama state House of Representatives have become “deeply divided” as they question their party’s leadership and direction as a caucus, says one state lawmaker.

Decatur-Republican, state Representative Ed Henry says House GOP members nearly voted their majority leader, Representative Mickey Hammon, out of his position this week during a caucus meeting. Hammon narrowly escaped being ousted, by a singular absentee vote, during a secret-ballot confidence vote on Wednesday.

Following the vote, Henry announced he was among those who cast a vote against the majority leader, claiming the party has a watered down plan for 2017 and that it needs to get back to a true conservative agenda.

“Going forward, there is a desire from within from the members to form a true conservative caucus. The next several days are going to determine if there is a true fracture inside the Republican caucus,” Henry told the Associated Press.

While Hammon has declined public comment on Wednesday’s vote, he did release a statement.

“I will say that even after Rep. Henry raised his concerns with the Caucus, I remain Majority Leader with the support of my Republican colleagues,” said Hammon. “Though it is often difficult to lead 72 Republican House members with varying personalities and opinions, I look forward to continuing as Majority Leader as we work to reform government, recruit jobs, and improve education while using conservative beliefs and values as our guide.”