DNC sets hearings on Alabama Democratic Party

Alabama Democratic Party Nancy Worley

The Democratic National Committee has announced that evidentiary hearings will take place regarding the election of Alabama Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy Worley, the Associated Press reports. Two separate challenges were filed saying that the election of Chairwoman Worley and and Vice Chairman Randy Kelley was was the result of unfair practices after years of infighting.

“With (Worley) and (Kelley) presiding over the meeting,” one complaint read, “the elections were conducted in a sloppy and haphazard manner that was easily susceptible to manipulation. The elections were deliberately manipulated in order to favor Worley, Kelley and all other incumbent SDEC officers.”

Worley won re-election in August by a narrow margin of 101-89 against a challenger who was backed by U.S. Sen. Doug Jones. According to the AP, one challenge alleges that, while these 190 votes were recorded only 142 state committee members signed in to the meeting.

Days after the election, Ralph Young of the Jefferson County Democratic Party filed a complaint on the election process. He alleged that Worley did not follow proper procedures when calling the meeting that led to her re-election. Young claims she gave inadequate notice and failed to comply with diversity requirements for officers.

“I’m a bit of a rules wonk and I have concerns about how the election was done,” Young told the Montgomery Advertiser. “I don’t believe it was done in a fair fashion. I think there are a number of procedural issues that could have decided differently.”

Former Chief Justice and gubernatorial candidate Sue Bell Cobb called for Worley’s resignation in September.

In an Opinion-Editorial published by the Anniston Star, Cobb says that Worley and Alabama party conference leader Joe Reed should “make a sacrifice worthy of their lifelong dedication to racial and gender equality and their decade-long contributions to the party,” and step down from their positions so that new leaders may recruit and support “qualified, electable Democratic candidates.”

Worley thinks that those arguing the validity of her election need to put this behind them and move forward, the AP reports. She said “The complainants need to stop re-fighting the Civil War and focus on helping Democrats win elections.”

An evidentiary hearing will be held by the national party on February 11 and, unless a resolution is reached by mediation, the Credentials Committee will hear challenges on February 14.