Run-off election delay raises questions for candidates

Published 2:39 pm Wednesday, April 1, 2020

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By PAUL DeMARCO | Guest Columnist

Note: This is an opinion column.

The unprecedented reach of the coronavirus pandemic has hit every aspect of American life.

Thus, it was no surprise that Governor Kay Ivey moved the date of the Alabama Republican run-off election from March 31st to July 14th.

After a request from the secretary of state and clearance from the Attorney General to move the date, the Governor amended her State of Emergency proclamation.

Now we are looking at another four months extension for races for the United States Senate, two Congressional districts and a seat on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals.

Neighboring states like Louisiana and Georgia also moved their election dates.

So now that the election has been moved to protect both poll workers and voters from being exposed to the virus, the real question is how do candidates campaign for voters during the pandemic. For starters making campaign fundraising solicitations to fund a successful campaign in the midst of the worst economic crisis in a generation will not be easy.

With voters more worried about their families and jobs, candidates have to decide do they want to put their campaigns on a low key temporary sabbatical for now or push forward. July may seem like a lifetime away, but citizens will be analyzing candidates through what happens between now and election date looking for able leaders.

Thus, those going to the polls will judge which candidates can continue to lead this Nation and state through the pandemic.

Tough decisions to be made in difficult times for our state during an important election cycle.

Paul DeMarco is a former member of the Alabama House of Representatives.