Former Alabama Secretary of State Nancy Worley (D) died on Wednesday, Dec. 30. Worley was also the first woman to serve as the Alabama Democratic Party Chair.

“We are saddened to learn of Ms. Worley’s passing,” said Alabama Democratic Party Chairman, State Rep. Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa). “In addition to being a lifelong advocate for public education, educators, and a former President of the Alabama Education Association, Worley was elected and served as Alabama’s Secretary of State. Ms. Worley was a great and loyal Alabama Democrat who cared deeply about the Alabama Democratic Party and the people of this state. She served the Alabama Democratic Party for decades in various roles, including as a state committee representative, vice-chair, Chair, and as a DNC member.

"Nancy Worley was a true public servant and a great Democrat with a heart for the people. She will be sorely missed, and we offer our condolences to her friends and family.”

Worley was Alabama Secretary of State from 2003 until 2007. She was the last Democrat to serve the state in that capacity. She lost the 2006 general election to Beth Chapman (R).

“It was recently reported that former Secretary of State Nancy Worley was in poor health and I found out this afternoon that she has passed away,” said Secretary of State John H. Merrill (R). “Even though we often disagreed on political issues I never doubted where her heart was or about her desire to serve the people of our state.”

Worley was a long-time classroom teacher who was very active in both the Alabama Education Association and the Alabama Democratic Party. That activism led to her being elected as President of the AEA by her peers. From there she went on to win the 2002 election for Secretary of State. After the Republican wave election of 2010, an undaunted Worley was elected as Vice-Chair of the Alabama Democratic Party (ADP). When Chairman Mark Kennedy unexpectedly left after the 2014 election, Worley rose to Chair the ADP. While she Chaired the ADP, Doug Jones was elected U.S. Senator in 2017 – the only Democrat to win a statewide elected office in Alabama since 2008.

Worley was re-elected as Chair in 2018, but bitter in-fighting within the State Democratic Executive Committee (SDEC) led to a new election for Chair being ordered by the DNC in 2019. England was elected Chair in the new SDEC election – a meeting that Worley and her allies boycotted.  Worley’s lawsuit challenging the 2019 SDEC election, and the new bylaws that allegedly allowed her opponents to stack the SDEC, was later dismissed. Worley and her key ally, ADP Vice-Chair Joe Reed, brought a new lawsuit this summer.

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