Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is scheduled to qualify Monday in Alabama’s presidential preference primary.
The Florida governor is expected to have a petition with the necessary signatures filed at the state Republican party headquarters in Hoover at 1 p.m.
DeSantis will become only the third GOP presidential candidate to qualify to be on the state’s presidential primary ballot on March 5. Earlier, former President Donald J. Trump and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy qualified.
Monday could be a big day for DeSantis, as Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is expected to endorse DeSantis Monday night at a rally in Des Moines. Iowa holds the nation’s first delegate selection process with its precinct caucuses on January 15.
Six weeks later, Alabama holds its presidential primary.
On the October 16 opening day of qualifying to run for office in Alabama, supporters of DeSantis fielded an almost complete slate of candidates for the 47 Republican National Convention delegate seats. By the end of week one of qualifying, the DeSantis slate was complete – 47 Alabama citizens running for 47 delegate slots pledged to DeSantis.
Delegates running pledged to former President Trump have now qualified in all 47 spots.
The Alabama Republican Party posts candidates online who have qualified to run for delegate within 24 hours of their qualifying at www.algop.org
In a big change in procedure, delegates will be elected by vote of members of the State Republican Executive Committee in a special meeting sometime between April 16 and June 10, 2024. The delegate candidates will not appear on voter ballots in the March 5 Alabama Republican primary. Only the names of the presidential candidates will appear and be voted on March 5.
Others wishing to run for delegate have until Friday, November 10, at 5 p.m. to file with the GOP. The qualifying fee to run for delegate is $150. To qualify to run for delegate, go in person to state GOP headquarters at 3503 Lorna Road, Birmingham or qualify online at 2024 Delegate Qualifying - Alabama Republican Party (algop.org).
Candidates for delegate must pledge to their presidential candidate at the time of qualifying or choose to run as an uncommitted delegate. Candidates must also select which place number they will seek when qualifying.
The delegates elected will represent Alabama at the Republican National Convention, which will nominate the Republican candidate for President and Vice-President and pass a party platform. The convention will be in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, July 14-18, 2024. The presidential election is November 5, 2024. Delegates each pay their own expenses for the convention.
Alabama delegates will be allocated to presidential candidates based on their showing in the March 5, 2024 Republican presidential preference primary.
If a candidate receives over 50% of the statewide Alabama primary votes on March 5, that candidate will be awarded all 26 of the statewide delegates. If no one receives over 50%, candidates with 20% or more of the statewide vote will receive a proportionate share of statewide delegates.
In each of Alabama’s seven congressional districts, if a presidential candidate receives 50% or more of the district vote, that candidate will be awarded all three of the district delegates. If no one receives over 50%, candidates with 20% or more of the district vote will receive a proportionate share of the three district delegates. That means the first-place finisher in a district short of 50% will receive two district delegates, and the second-place finisher will receive one.
Boiling that down, a candidate with over 50% is a winner-take-all contest. A candidate with under 20% is skunked in Alabama.
DeSantis will not appear in Alabama in person on Monday but will be represented by his Alabama campaign leaders. Those leaders include former state GOP Chair Terry Lathan of Mobile, State Auditor Andrew Sorrell of Muscle Shoals, and Vestavia Hills City Council member Kimberly Cook.
This is a developing story and will be updated on 1819news.com.
The author, Jim Zeigler, is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comment at [email protected].