BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Alabama Democratic Party committee voted Friday to disqualify Harry Lyon, its only statewide candidate for election this November.
Lyon was the party’s nominee for chief justice. He was disqualified following a hearing over comments Lyon made on the Internet about his Republican opponent, Roy Moore.
“It is the decision of the State Executive Committee that Mr. Lyon clearly violated the state party’s by-laws and this, along with his increasingly erratic behavior, have undermined his ability to stand as a candidate for the Democratic Party,” said Alabama Democratic Party Chairman Mark Kennedy.
Read Kennedy’s full statement.
Lyon had called Moore “demented” and a “devil worshipper”.
Other complaints had been filed against Lyon, claiming he violated campaign finance laws.
The five-member panel of the State Democratic Executive Committee voted to remove Lyon from the ballot. The committee will now take nominations for a new candidate to face Moore on the November ballot.
The Madison County Democratic Party said it supported the state committee’s decision to remove Lyon as the nominee.
“We are elated that the State Democratic Party has taken this action in light of the vulgar and repulsive commentary made by the candidate on his Facebook page and to media across the nation,” said Clete Wetli, Chair of the Madison County Democratic Party.
“The Democratic Party is one of inclusiveness, fairness, and equality, and these sentiments are out of line not only with our values, but the basic requirements for one serving in the judiciary. You can’t have fairness in a court of law with a judge who has called out nearly every type of person who would come before him in a derogatory manner,” Wetli added.
Bill Armistead, Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, was more critical of Friday’s turn of events.
“Judge Mark Kennedy and the Alabama Democratic Party have been trying to find a path to relevance in Alabama,” Armistead wrote. “Today they decided to remove Democratic Supreme Court Chief Justice nominee Harry Lyon from the ballot, thinking that would help their cause. Unfortunately for them, it will not work. It will only show Alabama voters what a farce the once powerful Alabama Democratic Party has become.”