The new chair of Alabama's Democratic Party says there is light at the end of the tunnel for an organization that has struggled in recent years.
"Recruitment is the key to success" said Nancy Worley, the former Secretary of State who was promoted from interim chairman to the party's permanent flag-bearer.
Worley said there isn't a sort of grand plan, just simple steps that she thinks the party could take now in order to be in a better position years down the line.
"The Democrats have to reelect the candidates that are already in office, but we also have to recruit some good candidates and we're looking for those candidates right now," Worley said.
Alabama's Democratic Party was a once-dominant force in state politics. It controlled Alabama legislature for 136 years before Republicans swept into power in 2010. Republicans maintain supermajorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The GOP doesn't have to negotiate with Democrats on any piece of legislation because they can cloture them at any time, shutting off debate.
Worley says she thinks the days of the new one-party preeminence are over.
"I think there is a large number of people in the state of Alabama that want to break that supermajority stranglehold dictatorship that we see in state government now with the Republicans," Worley said.
Democrats have been without any actual influence in the state since the disastrous 2010 election cycle. Democrats were defeated in all of the statewide races too. Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb decided to resign her seat on the Alabama Supreme Court in 2011 and Lucy Baxley lost her reelection bid for president of the Alabama Public Service Commission.
Worley says she's working to build a coalition of volunteers and donors to rally support for Democrats in the upcoming elections. She cautions that her efforts will take time to materialize.
"Now, am I going to be able to wave a magic wand and change all of this overnight? Probably not, but I think working with other people and getting our message across and recruiting good candidates, that will be our secret to success," Worley said.
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