The Alabama Republican Party has disqualified a candidate who won the runoff race last month for a Madison County District Judge race.
Chris Messervy beat Linda Coats in the April 24 runoff by 61 to 39 percentage points. However, Messervy missed several filing deadlines, according to the Alabama Secretary of State’s office. Two local Republicans, George Barry and Phil Williams, filed a complaint.
Coats also missed two filing deadlines.
The Alabama GOP reviewed the matter on Friday afternoon, hearing statements from both sides.
George Barry was present at the hearing and spoke about his complaint to 13 members of the State Republican Executive Committee. Coats was not present.
Messervy and his lawyer, Algert Agricola, also gave their side. The executive committee members took the matter behind closed doors for about 45 minutes, and then came out and announced their decision.
Messervy confirmed to WHNT News 19 he was removed from the November ballot.
“It didn’t have anything to do with late filings. It came down to one issue,” Messervy said. “My last weekly report in the primary was faxed in the day of the election. They called that a ‘failure to file’.”
Messervy said that particular filing contained $360 in new contributions.
“Despite the fact that we had a runoff, and we disclosed every expenditure, they held that was the issue,” Messervy said.
Messervy said he was disappointed, but expressed gratitude at the same time.
“I just appreciate everyone who’s supported me, and worked so hard for me. They’re the ones I’m thinking about right now,” said Messervy.
WHNT News 19 spoke with Coats to get her take on Friday’s ruling.
“It is never a good day for Republicans when a Republican candidate is disqualified for violation of the Fair Campaign Practices Act,” Coats said.
The party will now find a new candidate to be on the November ballot. They will interview local people who are interested in the District 3 judge seat.
“There are several lawyers in Huntsville who would make great judges, and I hope the party picks a good one,” Messervy said.
We asked Coats if she would consider applying.
“I don’t have any comment on that,” Coats said.
No Democrat is running for the District 3 Judge seat in November. Lynn Sherrod is currently the District 3 Judge for Madison County, but is running for Circuit Judge.