GOP won’t certify votes for candidate

Published 11:14 pm Friday, June 1, 2018

The Alabama Republican Party will not certify votes cast for a particular candidate in the upcoming primary election.

The candidate in question is Jim Bonner, a Bear Creek, Marion County resident, who is running for the position of Public Service Commissioner, Place 1, against incumbent Jeremy Oden, who was appointed to the position by former Governor Robert Bentley in 2012 and won a full-term in 2014.

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan, released a statement on Thursday, saying “On Thursday, May 31, 2018, the Alabama Republican Party Candidate Committee voted not to certify Republican primary election results for Mr. Jim Bonner, candidate for Public Service Commission, Place 1.

Email newsletter signup

“When our state party chooses to take these steps, it is a serious and rare occurrence,” Lathan continued. “We strongly believe that this is one of those solemn moments. This vote was carefully considered and was not taken lightly.

“Due to the ALGOP Candidate Committee’s decision, votes cast in the Republican primary election for Jim Bonner for the Public Service Commission, Place 1 will not be certified.”

Bonner has appealed this decision.

The reason behind the party’s decision stems back to Tuesday, when concerns were brought forward about Facebook posts and radio comments made by Bonner that have been called anti-Semitic, racist and offensive.

In one post from 2017, Bonner shared a picture of a card reading “my love 4 u burns like 6,000 jews” with a picture of Adolf Hitler. He captioned it, “Awwwww I got a Valentine!!!”

Initially, the GOP censured Bonner over his comments, but this recent measure all but guarantees the incumbent Oden will face Democratic candidate Cara McClure in the November general election.

In an interview with The Valley Times-News, Mr. Bonner denied the claims made against him.

“I promise you,” he said, “calling me anti-Semitic is the furthest thing from the truth.”

Bonner added that despite the GOP’s decision, there is a possibility that he could still get the nomination, saying that it came down to what happens on election night.

He said even though his votes won’t be certified, they will be counted, and if Oden gets the most then his appeal is “dead on arrival.” However, if he gets the most votes, then when he meets with the GOP Committee over his appeal, they might not uphold the original decision if it looks like he would be a stronger candidate in the general election.

“They would have to listen to the people,” he said.

Bonner maintains the incident boils down to political scheming, saying he has made some “special interests” unhappy and they in turn spent funds to force him out of the race.

“I don’t think I’ve been treated fairly, but most never are,” he said.