State GOP chairman visits Jasper
by David Lazenby
Nov 18, 2011 | 890 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead on Thursday spoke to members of the Walker County chapter about the GOP’s goals for the state.

He said Republicans gained a filibuster-proof majority in the state legislature during the 2010 elections because Alabamians overwhelmingly identify with conservative philosophies.

“We believe we have the finger on the pulse of the people of Alabama,” he said.

In addition to holding on to their super-majority, Armistead said party organizers hope to unseat the only remaining Democrat in a statewide office, Alabama Public Service Commission President Lucy Baxley.

Armistead said the state’s Republican officials also plan on targeting local races in about 20 counties throughout Alabama that remain primarily Democratic and establish a Republican majority in each of them.

“And with your help we can do that in Walker County,” he said.

He said that, in many counties throughout the state, candidates often feel that they must run as a Democrat to win an election. That’s simply not the case anymore, he said.

During the event held at the Jasper campus of Bevill State Community College, Armistead also encouraged local members to invite conservative Democrats in the area to switch parties.

“I am welcoming those who share our philosophy,” he said.

He stressed that the party is only interested in candidates that agree with the basic tenants of the Republican party, however.

“It’s not just about having an R beside your name,” he said.

Armistead also explained the party’s reasoning for deciding to move its primary election up from June 1 to March 13. Many states have their primaries on March 6, or Super Tuesday, but having Alabama’s GOP primary after the crowd will give the state more attention from presidential candidates, he said.

Armistead made no predictions as to the winner of the Republican presidential primaries. However, he did point out that Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Herman Cain each enjoyed a surge in the polls shortly after they visited Alabama.

“So, if Mr. Gingrich wants to get to No. 1, he has to come to Alabama,” he said.