Danny at Doc’s Political Parlor was kind enough to talk to Frank Matthews about this, so the rest of us wouldn’t have to. Frank’s the Birmingham talk radio host and perennial candidate who came out of Saturday’s State Democratic Executive Committee meeting hollering about “n*ggers and gays” because the committee actually voted to give the District 54 nomination to Patricia Todd, the person who won the runoff election (and received the majority of votes in the primary).
From Danny’s post:
…”We are absolutely going to have a write-in candidate,” [Matthews] said. He was “85% sure” that Gaynelle Hendricks would be the candidate. She hasn’t agreed to it, but he thinks she will. “That’s the great part about a write-in candidate. They don’t have to agree to it.” But if she is not the candidate, “we will have another strong candidate.”
They are “going to do it right” and are “talking to some people in New Jersey who have won a write-in campaign.” He said he knew they would have to lean on some Republican support. He also knows that only one candidate has ever won a seat in the Alabama legislature as a write-in candidate: Sen. Lowell Barron in 1983.
“I knew that letter [from Joe Reed] was a bad idea because it polarized the district racially. I saw a first draft and knew it was a bad idea.” It allowed Todd to “hide the gay issue in the race issue.”
So then I may say that there will definitely be a write-in campaign?
“Definitely. Absolutely. Get the word out.”
A couple of observations are in order. One, Frank doesn’t sound completely sure that Gaynell will participate in a write-in campaign. If she doesn’t, who is he planning to strong-arm, I mean recruit, to run? I feel quite sure he’d do it himself if he lived in the district. Two, he’s clearly planning to play the homophobia card, which may further polarize a district that doesn’t need to be divided further. Third, he says he’ll have to draw on Republican support, but I can’t see much coming from inside District 54. If Republicans were strong there, they’d have fielded a candidate for the seat.
Now a question: what does Frank Matthews hope to achieve by doing this?
Dan’s also covering the story at Between the Links.