Darby#039;s showing in race surprises

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 29, 2006

An atheist who said the Holocaust never happened came out of left field to nearly win the Democratic Party's nomination for Attorney General during the primary election held on June 6.

Political analysts and elected officials are still scratching their collective heads after Montgomery's Larry Darby took home nearly 44 percent of the vote in the AG's race against Mobile's Jon Tyson. Darby is founder and former General Counsel of the Atheist Law Center and has long denied history's account of the Holocaust, in which six million Jews were systematically put to death in Nazi Germany.

&#8220It shocked me,” said Rep. Charles Newton (D - Greenville). &#8220I don't know if it was a case of people not looking into what he (Darby) stood for and the positions he has taken Sometimes people just look at a ballot, see two names, and pick one. It was sure surprising to me to see that he got that kind of vote.”

Sen. Wendell Mitchell (D - Luverne) said he wouldn't even consider Darby as a candidate for public office.

&#8220Larry Darby possesses none of the qualities with which I can identify,” said Mitchell. &#8220I deny him on Christian principles. He's an atheist. I reject his candidacy.”

Mitchell agreed with Newton in that voters could have simply picked the name and not the person. He pointed out that neither Tyson nor Darby did much advertising prior to the election.

&#8220I think if the voters had known what he (Darby) stood for, he wouldn't have received that many votes,” he said.

Darby received 162,656 votes compared to Tyson's 212,022. He won 31 counties in the state outright, including Crenshaw and Covington counties, and had a strong showing in some predominantly black counties, like Lowndes. Darby has promoted white supremacy, even speaking at a meeting of the National Vanguard on May 13, an organization that bills itself as an advocate for the white race.