Flowers still in race
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 15, 2002
The campaign for Steve Flowers cleared another legal hurdle on Tuesday, winning a decision in a hearing in Federal Court in Montgomery.
The three-judge panel refused to overturn an earlier decision by Montgomery Circuit Court Judge Charles Price, which prevented the Alabama Republican Party from removing Flowers’ name from the ballot.
The Alabama Supreme Court also upheld Price’s decision two weeks ago.
"I am on the ballot for good and if the people of this district vote for me, I will be their senator," Flowers said following the ruling. "Not only have I campaigned the hardest of all the candidates, but I have done so while fighting to stay on the ballot."
Price ruled the party could not remove Flowers’ name because they disqualified him and tried to remove him past the 50-day deadline set in the Code of Alabama.
But Alabama Republic Chairman Marty Connors, who was on the losing end of Tuesday’s decision, said legal action may not be over.
"I seriously doubt it," Connors said. "I will not certify his votes. I will not certify his votes because of residency and no court has told me otherwise."
The residency issue mentioned by Connors, stems from a party candidate committee decision on April 15, which ruled Flowers ineligible because he did not fulfill residency requirements.
"I don’t like for people to go around and say that I am not a qualified candidate," Flowers said. "I live in this district and I want to represent the people of District 14 in the State Senate."
Since there is no candidate qualified on the Democratic side of the ticket, the winner of the June 4 primary, and ensuring run-off if necessary, while be one of the four Republicans. Flowers is facing competition from candidates Hank Erwin, former State Rep. Don Murphy and Mike Morton.
"As party chairman I do not have a dog in this hunt. A Republican will win the seat," Connors said. "It is my job and the job of the party to make sure our candidates are qualified and legal. In this case one is not."
But Flowers stressed he is qualified and running for the seat.
"Let the people know that I will be on the ballot," Flowers said. "If the people of this district want me to serve them, then I will do so."