The Decision Is Yours

By Sam Mitchell

It’s primary season in the Special Senate Election. It is important to understand the role of the party, MCDW, and voters during a primary.   A primary election is when a political party selects their nominee for a particular office. As we speak, Democrats across the State of Alabama are engaged in dialogue and research and are listening to candidates as each one makes their case for why they should be the party nominee.

This process is about Democratic VOTERS. It is not about the Party leadership or about organizations like MCDW. MCDW has long had bylaws that specifically prohibit the organization or its officers from taking positions on any Democratic primary candidates. This means that, as an organization, we will neither endorse nor criticize a primary candidate. In addition, our individual officers and board members will not endorse or criticize primary candidates.

Here is what MCDW does do for our candidates during the primary season: we disseminate information on all candidates, we share information on all campaign-related events and gatherings that candidates choose to send to us, we invite all candidates to attend all of our events, and we provide public recognition and introductions of all candidates who attend our events.

MCDW has reaffirmed this policy in the drafts of the new bylaws and in a policy statement that was passed at the June 11, 2017 board meeting. We believe that it is critical that Democratic voters themselves make this decision. Much has been made about the 2016 election and the perception or reality that the DNC leadership heavily favored one candidate over another. While we will never know the outcome of that election had that not happened, we do know that it did not further the unity of the party and that hard feelings still remain. MCDW officers represent the policies and positions of the organization, and as such, refrain from endorsement or criticism of primary candidates. I can tell you that it is personally challenging—and I will also tell you that I have learned a great deal by stepping back and allowing candidates to demonstrate their own strengths and weaknesses.

Members are encouraged to take an active role in the primary process. This is your chance, as a voter, to choose who will become the party nominee. Choose carefully- the winner of the primary becomes the Democratic nominee who will run in the general election against the Republican nominee. MCDW will support the Democratic nominee with the full force of the organization.

Remember, there are eight candidates. Every single one believes they have something to offer the people of Alabama. They all face an uphill battle with a short period of time to develop name recognition, to get to know voters, and to raise funds. Let’s respect the commitment that they have made to stand for election by listening, evaluating, and asking questions. We will keep providing information to you about the 2017 Senate candidates and all of our 2018 candidates as they announce and share information about their platforms and campaigns.

Take a moment right now and make a commitment to vote on Tuesday, August 15. You can choose to go to the polls any time between 7 AM and 7 PM. If you would like reminders about important election dates, please sign up for the new MCDW GOTV Alert. This is an alert that will simply remind you about important dates in the election process. Please feel free to share the link with other Democrats and like-minded people. It is easy to forget an election day, but it is critical that we do everything we can to get Democratic and like-minded voters to the polls on August 15. It matters.