MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Democratic National Committee voted Saturday to deny seats to the two leaders of the Alabama Democratic Party after missed deadlines to comply with party directives.
The DNC accepted a recommendation to revoke the credentials of Alabama Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy Worley and Vice-Chair Randy Kelley. The sanction came after the state party missed two deadlines to hold new elections for their positions and to revise party bylaws.
A DNC spokesman said the action means Worley and Kelley will no longer be recognized by the DNC.
Worley said Friday that she expected the action, and downplayed its impact. Worley said she and Kelley will remain in their state party positions.
“It shouldn’t affect anything in the state party,” Worley said
The action arose after challenges were filed contesting Worley’s and Kelley’s election last year. One challenge contended multiple rules were broken during the election to “stack the deck” in their favor. A separate challenge said the party did not follow diversity requirements.
National party officials agreed and 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 other minorities, not just African Americans.
Richard Rouco, an attorney representing people who filed the challenge to Worley’s and Kelley’s election, said the action confirms the need for change at the Alabama Democratic Party.
“I hope that the ADP’s leadership takes this action by DNC seriously because it’s a big deal when the two top officers of a State party are denied DNC credentials,” Rouco wrote in an email.
Rouco said while Kelley and Worley are not technically removed from office, he was unsure how long they could continue.
“An important and critical duty of the Chair and Vice Chair of a State Party is to represent state Democrats at the national level. Alabama Democrats deserve representation in the affairs of the DNC and it’s my sense that if the ADP does not move quickly to comply with DNC orders and run a new election for Chair and Vice Chair that the DNC will take further action,” Rouco said.
The DNC credentials committee on Thursday recommended revoking the credentials of the Alabama party leaders until new elections are properly held. They said the state missed spring and August deadlines to comply with the directives.