There really is hope for the party based on a couple of things I observed yesterday.
First, there is the saga of selecting a replacement candidate for House District 70. The local party endorsed Chris England, an assistant Tuscaloosa city attorney who is also the son of county Circuit Judge John England. Joe Reed doesn’t like John England, so he found his own nominee, Ken King. Joe Turnham had nothing but praise for both of these young men. Chris England narrowly edged Mr. King, and after the vote I watched as they shook hands and then hugged, with Ken promising to support Chris. Later, I walked out to the lobby and saw them, still deep in conversation, and they shook hands again when they parted. These two look like class acts, people, and I hope they are the future of the party.
Second, when it came time for the committee to discuss and vote on District 54, I sat down by two black women in the spectator section. After a few minutes, I realized that they had come to observe some other issue before the committee and didn’t know about this particular dispute. They were listening closely to the speakers, and then they turned to me and began to whisper questions. Which one was Ms. Todd? I pointed her out. Why was there a problem with a report that nobody files? If Ms. Todd got the most votes, why was there any dispute? When it was time to vote, one of them said, “We’re praying that you win.” Afterward, they stopped me in the lobby and asked for some more information about Patricia.
And when I finally had the opportunity to check out al.com, here’s what I saw:
Yep, that would be one of Patricia’s new supporters giving her a hug.
ADDENDUM: Zach’s post on yesterday’s events is much funnier than mine, but it’s also quite heartwarming.