New Republicans come under fire

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The nine Covington County elected officials and one Tuscaloosa County official who officially switched parties Monday came under fire from the state Democratic party on Tuesday.

Newly-elected Alabama Democratic Party Chairman Mark Kennedy said, “These new Republicans won their seats with significant help and sacrifice from local Democrats, and Alabama Democrats will provide significant help and sacrifice to the nominees we will field in each of these nine future elections.”

A statement released by the Democratic Party said, “These party switchers have subverted the will of the voters. These were not acts of integrity as some claim, but selfish acts of self-interest.

“Three of these newly-minted Republicans were just re-elected as Democrats just three months ago and if they were interested in serving the people they would have resigned their offices and stood for election as Republicans,” the statement said.

Among the nine switching parties in Covington County were District Judge Trippy McGuire, and county board of education members Jeff Bailey and Lynda Powell, were all re-elected as Democrats without opposition in November. In Tuscaloosa County, the same could be said of Sheriff Ted Sexton.

“Giving voters a choice rather than forcing them to be represented by members of a party whose nominees they have continually rejected would have been the honorable thing to do,” the Democrats concluded.

Others who switched parties in Covington County included Circuit Judge Lex Short, Sheriff Dennis Meeks, Coroner Norman Hobson, County Commissioner Bragg Carter, and county board of education Chairman John Clark and member Jimmy Rodgers.

Meeks and Hobson also won re-election as Democrats in November, but each had Republican opposition. Meeks won 76 percent of the votes cast in his race, while Hobson had 52.96 percent.