Friday, August 17th, 2012

Statement from Alabama Democratic Party Chairman Mark Kennedy on the Disqualification of Harry Lyon

"It is the decision of the State Executive Committee that Mr. Lyon clearly violated the state party's by-laws and this, along with his increasingly erratic behavior, have undermined his ability to stand as a candidate for the Democratic Party."

On Monday August 13, 2012, the State Democratic Party sent Lyon a letter outlining a series of increasingly disturbing behavior that violated the Party's bylaws and the canons of judicial ethics including an apparent inability to conduct himself in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary and an apparent inability to maintain the decorum and temperance befitting the office of Chief Justice.

In accordance to the same by-laws, Chairman Kennedy called for a meeting of the State Executive Board to take up the matter. This afternoon a five-member subcommittee of the Board met and voted to disqualify Lyon. The group also set next steps to ensure the Party would be represented in this race in November.

"It is disappointing that this close to the election process we find ourselves without a candidate for Chief Justice, but are hopeful that we will soon have a truly qualified candidate and future Chief Justice," said Kennedy. 

The Party will open a qualifying period for potential replacement candidates.  The qualifying period will open Monday, August 20, 2012 at 8:00 AM and close Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at noon.  If no candidate qualifies during the qualifying period, there will be no Democratic nominee for Chief Justice.  If only one candidate qualifies, that candidate will become the Democratic nominee.  If more than one candidate qualifies, ballots will be mailed on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 to the full membership of the State Democratic Executive Committee.  Ballots will be due on Monday, August 27, 2012 by 5:00 PM to the Democratic Party Headquarters.