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Democrats Look Forward After Lyon Removed From Ballot

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WHNT) - Harry Lyon, former Democratic candidate for chief justice to the Alabama Supreme Court, says Democrats have committed "political suicide" after disqualifying him from the upcoming general election.

The Alabama Democratic Party voted unanimously Friday to remove Lyon from the ballot after he posted incendiary status updates to his Facebook, railing against homosexuals, supporters of gay marriage, and his Republican opponent Roy Moore.

"As Democrats we believe in equality for all people," said Clete Wetli, chair of the Madison County Democrats. "When you as a public figure get on Facebook and other forms of social media and start putting out hateful rhetoric, that's just shameful."

However, Lyon thinks the real shame should be on the heads of state Democrats.

"Now the Democratic party has officially committed suicide statewide, and I feel sorry. Because my friends are in the Democratic party and they are now officially politically dead," said Lyon.

Wetli naturally disagrees with Lyon's assessment, and is instead thankful that his views came to the surface now, instead of after the election if he had won.

"That was not appropriate, particularly for somebody running for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. It causes the public to lose faith in our justice system if someone is expressing, especially angrily, that type of prejudice and bias," said Wetli.

With only months to go before the election, Wetli isn't worried they won't be able to rally support for a new candidate. Instead, he says this gives the party the opportunity to find someone who they believe better represents the party's values.

The party will take nominations from Monday, August 20th to Wednesday, August 22nd at noon. If no one is nominated the party will not field a candidate.