Former Congressional candidate Tabitha Isner is once again running to be chair of the Alabama Democratic Party. Isner waged a months-long effort in 2019 to unseat Nancy Worley, the first woman in the history of Alabama to chair the Democratic Party but lost the final vote to State Rep. Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa). England announced last month that he was not running again as party chair. Worley, who rejected her ouster by the Democratic National Committee, has since passed away, leaving the Alabama Democratic Party searching for new leadership.
“I'm running for Chair of the Alabama Democratic Party because I want us to be known for our transparency,” Isner announced on social media. “Our budget, our policies toward candidates, our staff list, our meeting minutes - all should be easily accessible to the public. Information is power, and I want YOU to have it.
“Back in 2019, I organized an open source effort to write new bylaws, host a SDEC member-called meeting to pass those bylaws, and recruit the most diverse SDEC Alabama had ever seen. Every last bit of that process was open to the public.”
Isner was the Democratic nominee for Alabama’s Second Congressional District in 2018 but lost the general election to then-incumbent Republican Congresswoman Martha Roby. Isner is a pastor’s wife, adoptive mother, and former foster parent.
“I've faced some tough losses and nasty attacks, been undermined and discouraged,” Isner said. “But it has not broken me. I have had to swallow some unpleasant pills and find new angles, but I've never given up on making Alabama a better place to live. And I'm amazed at how many people I know who just keep doing the work, despite the roadblocks. We got this, y'all.
“I’ve always loved to learn new things, so stayed in school a bit longer than was probably necessary. I have a Master of Divinity and Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago as well as a Bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis. I have worked in higher education and also for a refugee settlement agency, but I have spent most of my career as a researcher and policy maker in the field of early childhood education. Until the campaign kicked into high gear, I was working full-time as a business analyst for a software company that builds web-based applications to support the child care and early learning workforce. It has been a daily blessing to know that my work benefits those underpaid heroes who work long hours to ensure that our children get a solid start on life.”
In response to GOP calls for party registration and closed primaries, Isner said, “The Alabama GOP is once again closing ranks. They are considering requiring Alabamians to 'register' in advance as a Republican in order to participate in the Republican primary. If you're an independent thinker, come on over! The Alabama Democratic Party welcomes you and all free thinkers!
“I am compelled to public service by the Christian vision of feeding, clothing, and ministering to the least of these. The vision of the beloved community, the desire for heavenly justice on earth, is not merely a nice story we tell our children, but a real and practical task to which I have devoted my life. I see how flawed and corrupt our society is, but my faith has taught me to be unabashedly hopeful, convinced that a more just and peaceful world is possible. If only we’d believe and put our money – and our efforts – where our mouth is.”
Isner said she hopes to make the Alabama Democratic Party live up to its ideals.
“I love the Alabama Democratic Party like I love my country,” Isner said. “Which is to say that I am inspired by its ideals and disappointed in its failure to live up to them. We're all responsible for making things better. Mark your calendars for August 13, and let's get to work.”
The State Democratic Executive Committee will meet for an organizational meeting on Saturday, Aug. 13 at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center.
Isner did not respond to 1819 News requests for an interview.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email brandon.moseley@1819News.com.
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