MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Huntsville’s Rep. Anthony Daniels has won a vote in a party caucus to assume the role of House Minority Leader. Rep. Craig Ford announced he would not run to retain the spot last October in a fiery letter that called for both Nancy Worley, the Alabama Democratic Party Chairwoman and Dr. Joe Reed, head of the State Democratic Executive Committee to step down.
Shortly after Ford’s announcment, Daniels announced he would seek the spot, telling WHNT News 19, “With my fundraising background, any leader of any party has to have the ability to raise money. They have to have the ability to be able to broaden the base and get people excited about being a part of the party process. And they have to have the ability to engage all members. So yes, I will be seeking Minority Leader.”
At the time, he called for party unity and handling party business in private.
Daniels also said of the party brand in October, “We are Alabama Democrats, we are not Washington Democrats,” he explained. “We have our own uniqueness. I want to kind of rebrand us to being the party of unity, and the party of inclusion.”
Perhaps as part of that process, Daniels heavily focused on job growth in a Montgomery interview with WHNT News 19 on the first day of the 2017 legislative session.
He even expressed a willingness to work with President Donald Trump, so long as that collaboration would lead to more jobs. Daniels told us, “If they’re serious, as they said on the campaign trail, about job growth, I’m serious about job growth. And so that’s something where I can see some common ground. But just to talk about it and not take the aggressive steps to make it happen, that’s where we’re far apart. I’m about results.”
Daniels emphasized that he feels focus on job growth can help alleviate everything from general fund shortfalls to Medicaid cost concerns.
Daniels helps move the nexus of power in the Alabama House of Representatives even further north. Daniels represents Huntsville as well as the Democratic Party, and Speaker Mac McCutcheon directs the order of business in the chamber while also representing the interests of the Monrovia area.
WHNT News 19's David Kumbroch is in Montgomery today. He's following the latest on the legislative session and will have reports Wednesday evening on WHNT News 19.