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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Party Switching Continues

The Great Party Switch of 2010 is continuing as more local Democrats across the state leave the party to pick up the standard of the Alabama Republican Party. This time it's in Calhoun County.

Apparently four former Calhoun County Democratic officials are switching parties much to the disappointment and anger of the Alabama Democratic Party. Those officials are: Calhoun County Probate Judge Alice Martin, License Commissioner Barry Robertson, Circuit Court Judge Brian Howell and County Registrar Carolyn Henderson.

The Democrats sent out a statement blasting the new Republicans for being what the party sees as "disingenuous and unfair to voters" because they were elected as Democrats and with the help of campaign contributions from Democrats.

Read the rest of the statement below:

"Judge Martin and License Commissioner Barry Robertson have long had the staunch support of Calhoun County voters and ran as Democrats in their previous elections.

"Circuit Court Judge Brian Howell won election in 2006 against a Republican opponent, and County Registrar Carolyn Henderson was appointed to the Calhoun County Board of Registrars by Democrat Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks. Her position will require her to be reappointed by his Republican successor John McMillan or another Republican official, such as the state auditor or the governor.

“It’s incredibly unfortunate that these officials, with the possible exception of one, could not be bothered to call and discuss their decisions to switch parties with me before announcing it to the press," said Calhoun County Democratic Party Chairwoman Sheila Gilbert. “I had to wonder if they were afraid I would try to talk them out of giving up their years of service as Democratic officeholders and the trust and support Calhoun County Democrats had placed in them."

The Alabama Democratic Party and the Calhoun County Democratic Party reaffirmed their commitment to finding strong candidates to run in each of these elected offices in the upcoming elections.

“We have a number of great Democrats in Calhoun County who would be well-qualified for each of these offices,” Gilbert said. “We look forward to taking on these new Republicans at the ballot box next year.”

-- Markeshia Ricks

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Location: Montgomery, AL, United States

South Union Street is the blog of Montgomery Advertiser political reporters Markeshia Ricks and Sebastian Kitchen. Always check here for the latest on the Legislature, elections and other activities and players in Alabama.

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