— MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The chairman of the Alabama Republican Party said Tuesday he won't disqualify any state Supreme Court candidates based on a petition filed by a Huntsville woman, but the Democratic Party chairman said he's seriously considering her complaint seeking the disqualification of the party's lone candidate for the Supreme Court.
Sherry C. Broyles of Huntsville filed petitions with Democratic Party Chairman Mark Kennedy and Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead as an Alabama voter, which is allowed under state law.
She asked Kennedy to disqualify the party's nominee for chief justice, Harry Lyon, for not filing any reports on how much he has raised and spent in his campaign against the Republican nominee, former Chief Justice Roy Moore.
Lyon, a Pelham attorney who has run several times for public office, called Broyles' petition bogus and said state law doesn't require him to file because he hasn't raised or spent $25,000. But Broyles said the Legislature changed the law for the 2012 elections to require candidates to file monthly reports and then weekly reports of their campaign finances as an election draws nears.
"The allegations made against Mr. Lyon are serious and we assure Alabama Democrats and voters across the state that we will take them seriously and have already begun the process to be sure that they are properly and thoroughly reviewed in a timely manner," Kennedy said.
If the party were to disqualify Lyon, it could name a replacement candidate for the general election Nov. 6.
Broyles could not be reached for comment. Her petitions did not include a phone number, and a phone listing at the address on her petitions had been disconnected. Her Facebook page includes photos of Democratic officeholders, but she is not a member of the Madison County or state Democratic Executive Committees, a party official said.
In her petition to the Republican Party chairman, she said three Republican incumbents on the Supreme Court — Lyn Stuart, Glenn Murdock and Jim Main — should be disqualified for not filing all of the required campaign finance reports. She also made the same complaint about Civil Appeals Court incumbents Craig Pittman, Terri Thomas and Terry Moore and Criminal Appeals Court incumbents Sam Welch and Michael Joiner.
None of them had any opposition in the Republican primary and no one has a Democratic opponent in November.
After reviewing the matter with party attorneys, Armistead said all of them having been filing monthly reports of their campaign finances, and they didn't have to file weekly reports before the Republican primary in March because they had no opponents. He said the goal of the state's new campaign finance reporting deadlines is to make sure candidates report their contributions before an election, and all the Republican candidates did that.
"I don't see any problem there," he said.
On the Democratic side, the party's executive director, Bradley Davidson, said this is the first time the party has faced the issue since the campaign finance law changed.
The GOP did face the issue in Madison County after Huntsville attorney Chris Messervy won the primary for district judge. The party disqualified him because he didn't file campaign finance reports on time. The party made the second-place finisher, Linda Coats, its nominee.
Moore, the Republicans' chief justice nominee, was not a target of Broyles. Moore has been filing frequent finance reports with the secretary of state.