LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. - A Limestone County man has been blocked by the county Republican party from running for sheriff on their ticket.
"I've been a self-identified Republican since the age of 18. I've even run on the Republican ticket back in 2002." Jason White has been committed to the Republican party and the pursuit of Limestone County Sheriff for years, but he believes his sexual orientation is why the GOP rejected his request.
"It's not something I've hidden," said White, who is married to the first openly gay Navy SEAL. "I'm not ashamed. It is what it is and it's something people in town have known about since I was 25 years old."
White has run for sheriff before, but in 2002, he wasn't openly gay. Now, he says he believes that played a role when he decided to run this time.
He tells us he went through a new format involving a questionnaire and a steering committee.
"Actually we spoke for a significant amount of time about my sexual orientation," he said of the process.
They also questioned him about a lawsuit he filed against the city of Athens while working as a police officer.
"They thought that me reporting that corruption and later suing the city, that I wouldn't work well with the people in that lawsuit."
They ultimately blocked him from running as a Republican.
"I was the given the choice to appeal it to the state or run third-party," he explained. "I don't know how long an appeal will take and I don't believe I'll be appealing it. I'm planning to run as an independent."
White wanted to keep his personal life out of the campaign and says he expected some resistance, but not this.
"If someone wants to be on the ballot, they should be allowed to be on the ballot. It should be left to the general public on whether that person is allowed to serve."
We reached out the Limestone County GOP chair who says that until they discuss White's next move with him, they won't comment. White says he doesn't want to drag this incident out but instead wants to focus on his campaign.