MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — The dispute within the Alabama Democratic Party over who is its rightful leader could be resolved based on how the Alabama Supreme Court interprets the issue.
On Thursday, Montgomery County Circuit Judge Greg Griffin heard arguments on who should be in charge of the party, which has been in a state of disorganization for years, a problem some believe is the fault of longtime party leader Nancy Worley.
Last month, Worley and Tuscaloosa Rep. Chris England were both elected to lead the party at two separate meetings. After England’s election, Worley contended the results and filed a lawsuit.
Ultimately, Judge Griffin decided not to rule on the lawsuit. Instead, he allowed the Alabama Supreme Court to decide on an earlier appeal before he made a decision. However, Griffin suggested both parties settle the matter out of court.
“Hopefully, the (Alabama) Supreme Court will rule fairly soon,” said Barry Ragsdale, the lawyer representing the new leadership in the Alabama Democratic Party. “We believe they will dismiss the case. If they don’t, we believe Judge Griffin should dismiss the case. We are disappointed that Ms. Worley decided that delay was in her interest, we think this is her last thread of trying to hang onto any power.”
Ragsdale said all of the party’s social media accounts have been turned over to party’s new leadership and that the organization has seen a recent boost in revenue.
“Once Chairman England was elected and Ms. Worley was removed, frankly the floodgates opened on donations to the party that had been denied for years,” he said.
Joe Reed, a longtime fixture of the Alabama Democratic Party who supports Nancy Worley, said Worley should lead the party, although he believes there is little she or anyone can do to resolve the problems within the party.
“We have lost a lot of unity,” Reed said. “I don’t know if this party can be unified in time, I don’t know if anyone on the scene can really unify this party. I don’t think Doug Jones can unify it, I don’t think Nancy can unify it.”
Both parties are hoping the issue will soon be resolved in time for elections next year.