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February 18, 2014

UPDATE: Tommy Drake, Kim Drake facing disqualification from election after local GOP allegations of 'opportunism'

Cullman attorneys, Tommy Drake and his wife, Kim, may be disqualified by the state Republican Party to run for U.S. Congress House District 4 and Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals respectively.

The Cullman County GOP and Montgomery County GOP apparently challenged the Drakes’ republican candidacies to the state party on grounds the two were “opportunists,” Tommy Drake said Tuesday. Each will have 10 minutes to respond to those allegations and argue why the challenges should not be sustained at a hearing before the state GOP executive committee’s candidate committee, according to an email sent to the Drakes Sunday by state GOP Chief of Staff Harold Sachs.

“Over years of transition, my wife and I decided to change political parties,” Tommy Drake wrote in a prepared statement. “I don’t support many things either party is doing. Regardless, I have always been a fiscal conservative and pro-life.”

He went on to say that“it appears that the Republican Party will be hand-picking its candidates in the future; but, without question: denying access to others.”

Bill Armistead, chairman of the state GOP, said the 21-member candidate committee will decide whether to disqualify the Drakes or keep them on the ballot.

“The complaint from the Cullman County GOP concerned their past association with the Democratic party and that there was apparently no evidence they had been active members in the local GOP prior to their filing paperwork to run as republicans,” Armistead said.

Check back for updates and read details in Wednesday’s Times.

Tiffeny Owens can be reached by email at towens@cullmantimes.com or by phone at 256-734-2131, ext. 135.

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