MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Two people claim to be the leaders of the Alabama Democratic Party, after a group of the party held elections this past Saturday.
A faction of the State Democratic Executive Committee voted Nancy Worley and Randy Kelley as chair and vice chair despite a different election that was held on Nov. 2. That previous meeting elected Rep. Chris England and Patricia Todd as chair and vice chair and was backed by the Democratic National Committee.
There has been a long-standing struggle between the two groups for months after the DNC called for new bylaws and party elections.
Worley does not recognize what she calls a “splinter group” that elected England as chair, even though the DNC certified the Nov. 2 election.
Worley has filed a lawsuit claiming the “splinter group" elected the party chair and vice chair illegally.
The DNC issued a motion Friday to be a defendant in the case.
The party division comes at a time when Sen. Doug Jones is trying to keep his seat as several Republicans vie for it in 2020.
Nicholas Howard is an assistant professor at AUM for Department of Political Science and Public Administration. He said a state party helps with elections. They help raise money, canvass neighborhoods, and encourage people to get out and vote.
“But it requires a coordinated effort, a consistent effort, and the ability of a candidate to work with the party," Howard said.
When asked if this division is healthy while Sen. Doug Jones is running for re-election, Worley said Jones started the fight against her leadership in the first place.
“He decided he wanted to change because he thought the party had not done enough for him,” Worley said.
The Jones campaign did not have a comment regarding the state party Monday.
However, in the past Jones had said new leadership was necessary to have more diversity in the party.
England did not return any calls.