MONTGOMERY (AP) — Alabama Democratic party leaders will lose their seats on the Democratic National Committee after the state party twice missed deadlines for new leadership elections, under a recommendation made Thursday.
The DNC's credentials committee recommended revoking the credentials of Alabama Chairwoman Nancy Worley, a former Decatur schoolteacher, and Vice-Chair Randy Kelley. The full DNC will have to approve the recommendation on Saturday, but typically accepts the recommendations.
Worley and Kelley would stay in their state roles, but won't have a seat on the DNC.
National party officials in February ordered new elections after finding procedural irregularities with Worley's and Kelley's election last year. Party officials also ordered the state party to develop an affirmative action plan and revise bylaws to provide representation of more minorities — not just African Americans.
Committee member Harold Ickes, who helped lead the negotiations between the state and DNC, said the state party has "stalled this process."
"This has been sort of a textbook example of delay, delay, delay, delay. We're mystified by it," Ickes said.
Worley said the challenge was filed by people unhappy with her election and suggested it was an effort to minimize the influence of African Americans.
Worley said there is a "special circle in hell that is going to be as hot as it can be" for people who try to strip black voters of their voting rights, and told members they will need water, "cause you are going to be burning in hell for taking away people's voting rights."
A committee member responded that the party takes its commitment to diversity seriously and that this came about because of the "flagrant irregularities" in Worley's election last year.
There have been calls for new party leadership after internal disagreement over management and decisions. Democrats for a decade have lost all statewide elections in Alabama with the exception of the 2017 election of U.S. Sen. Doug Jones. He is the only Democrat to hold statewide office in Alabama.