ALABAMA (WHNT) — Long before the start of the election cycle, all political indicators pointed to a rough road for the Alabama Democratic Party heading into the 2022 midterm elections.
The lack of exposure, funding, and media access to candidates led to a complete domination by Republicans in every state, city, and county race.
Newly-elected Chair of the Alabama Democratic Party Randy Kelley told News 19 that Alabama Republicans might have no principles, but the state Democratic Party right now has no pulse.
Many voters and candidates in the state will not disagree with the latter part of that statement.
Notoriety from a political debate is one of the keys to every election candidate.
“It’s a part of American tradition and it’s the best way for the people to get to know their candidates,” said Dean Odle, a former gubernatorial candidate.
As the Alabama Republican Party dominated every race Tuesday, the lack of notoriety by nearly every Democratic candidate was badly exposed. Why did this happen?
One look at the Twitter account for Alabama Democrats showed there hasn’t been a tweet since August 11.
Media access to candidates in major state races was also a factor. Contact with gubernatorial nominee Yolanda Flowers, and congressional candidate Kathy Warner-Stanton in particular was entirely dependent on whether they answered their cell phone.
Kelley summed it up uniquely.
“The Democratic Party is not any candidates campaign committee,” he explained. “The candidate has to run their own campaign.”
That point has some facts, but the leader of the party holds office for the candidates. During her concession speech, Yolanda Flowers stated that she had no help from her party chair or anyone else.
“I’ve only been in it for only two months but I’m not going to do a miracle in two months,” Kelley explained. “But I wish I could.”
In a letter written addressed to members of the State Democratic Committee on the day of the midterm elections, Kelley accused Vice Chair Tabitha Isner of refusing to accept the results of a leadership election and challenging his leadership abilities. Isner has since denied that charge, but Kelley vowed to change the direction of the party.
“What I’m going to be doing with the democratic party is building a coalition,” Kelley concluded. “I tend to say that people have common values and common issues but a lot of times they are divided.”
Kelley admitted Alabama Democrats have a long way to go in picking the right candidates but that this election cycle was no fault of his.