GOP welcomes all, without declaration

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 5, 2011

Dear editor:

In regards to your article in Tuesday’s paper about Democratic officials switching parties, I understand why they made the switch, but I can not understand why they were required to sign a declaration stating that, “I endorse and will actively support the principles of the Republican Party, including (but not all inclusive) pro-life, pro-family, pro-free enterprise, strong defense, and less intrusive government.”

As some of you know I was an active member of the Alabama Republican Party for over 45 years, and for many years I was an official of the party. I served two terms as chairman of the Madison County, Republican Party, two terms as chairman of the 5th Congressional District and one term as vice chairman of the Alabama Republican Party.

Since 1970 the Alabama Republican Party has always accepted any citizen of the state or candidate for public office to become a member ot he party without any other requirement or pledge. Throughout this period the Alabama Democratic Party has required anyone voting in the Democratic Primary to pledge their support for all Democratic candidates in the General Election.

However, the Alabama Republican Party does require that all officials of the party (members of the state and county executive committees) to support the Party’s nominees in the General Election, but this requirement does not apply to elected officials or to regular party members.

The open door policy of the Alabama Republican Party has permitted individuals with highly varying views to join the party, but we always expect these individuals to support the Constitutions and Laws of the United States and the State of Alabama. The pledge that the Covington County Republican Party officials required our county officials to sign before being accepted into the Republican Party, is certainly not in keeping with the principles of our founding fathers, or of the Alabama Republican Party, which I helped develop.

The county officals signing the above pledge have probably violated their oaths of office which required them to uphold and support the Constitutions and Laws of the United States and the State of Alabama.

Wyley D. Ward