Former President Donald Trump has endorsed Montgomery businessman John Blanchard in a race for Republican National Committeeman of Alabama.

Blanchard is the husband of Lindy Blanchard, the former Trump-appointed U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia and former Alabama gubernatorial candidate.

John Blanchard will face 16-year incumbent National Committeeman Paul Reynolds in a vote of the State Republican Executive Committee on Saturday, February 10. They meet in Birmingham at the Sheraton Downtown.

A third candidate is Bill Harris, district director for U.S. Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) and a former executive director of the state GOP. 

Harris sent this e-mail to members of the Alabama GOP who will be voting in this race:

Today I humbly request your consideration and vote to be your next Alabama Republican Committeeman.

I am serving in my second term as your Regional Chairman 1 and 2. The same position I also served for one term from 2017 to 2019.

I believe in service, and I also believe in allowing others the opportunity to serve. I did not intend to seek another term in my current position and when the recent court decision redrew the congressional lines putting me in the six District it affirmed my earlier decision. 

So why run for your National Committeeman? As your Executive Director in the late 90’s, I had the privilege to serve with Edgar Weldon who was the Committeeman at the time. I never went to him for help for the party that he did not respond with more help than originally requested. I always thought I would love to serve in that capacity.

Unfortunately, traditionally that position went to more wealthy members. Although I am not wealthy, I am extremely blessed. I have my military retirement and will soon be able to draw my Congressional Retirement.  With a 10-year-old son at home, I plan to always work.

I have grown up with so many of you in the party for years, but to those who I have not spent much time with I want to tell you a little about myself and some of the things I would like to accomplish.

I have worked for over 40 years to elect conservative Republicans. I began at age 15 going door to door for President Ronald Reagan. I was the first Republican in my family. I worked to elect Pro-life, conservative Christians, that have worked for our conservation values.

I am currently Congressman Barry Moore’s District Director.

I served as Congressman Robert Aderholt’s first Campaign Manager and District Director, Statewide Coordinator for the Christian Coalition of Alabama, and the Political Director for the Alabama Forestry Association.

I am a long-time member of the State Committee from Autauga County and currently serve as the County Chairman.

I have been elected a presidential delegate for President Bush, Mike Huckabee, and President Trump.

I will also serve as a Trump delegate this summer when he receives 50% of the statewide vote. 

I served in the United States Army, on Active Duty, as well as the Alabama National Guard and Army Reserves for 34 years. I joined as a private in 1983 and retired as a Colonel in 2017.

I will work with the chairman to raise money for our party.

I pledge to keep my report to the committee short (between 1 to 5 minutes including time for any questions).

As your committeeman I pledge to serve 2 terms (eight years).

To the best of my ability, I will attend all meetings as well as both RNC meetings each year.

I look forward to seeing each of you in a couple of weeks. I hope to be successful and win, but if not, I will pledge my complete support to whomever we elect. 

Trump made the following post on his Truth Social account on Friday:

In a message sent out to Republicans throughout the state last week, John Blanchard said he intends to seek the position of National Committeeman for the Alabama Republican Party.

As Lindy and I have traveled our great state and nation, working to promote the traditional conservative values that guided the founding fathers, it has been our privilege to spend time with many of you and hear your thoughts about the future of the Republican Party,” said Blanchard.

“While we are blessed to have strong leadership on the state level, we have the opportunity to step up our commitment and involvement on the national level, so that we can affect real change and make a serious impact.”

“After much thought and prayer, I have decided to seek the position of National Committeeman for the Alabama Republican Party,” Blanchard continued. “I have the skill set and experience, and am ready to roll up my sleeves to help the Republican National Committee take back the White House and the Senate.”

“I do not take this decision lightly and will work diligently to earn your trust and support.”

In his announcement, Blanchard pledged to:

·        Work tirelessly, stand for Alabama values, and keep the national party platform strong and enforced

·        Collaborate with other conservative RNC members to come up with fresh and new ideas that will improve the direction of the Committee

·        Be Alabama’s voice on the committee, be responsive, and submit regular reports on national level activities

·        Assist ALGOP Chairman John Wahl in his efforts to raise Alabama’s profile nationally and elect conservative Republican candidates throughout the state and nation

·        Continue tremendous financial support for both the ALGOP and the RNC, while recruiting others to do the same.

·        Establish Alabama as an example for states across the country

The incumbent in the race is Paul Reynolds, the founder and president of Reynolds Technical Associates, a broadcast engineering consulting firm in Pelham. A native of Midway, Paul has been actively involved in the conservative movement in Alabama and nationally for decades.  

Reynolds is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi and has done post-graduate work at the University of Alabama. He and his wife, Joan, are members of Hunter Street Baptist Church in Hoover. 

Reynolds used a bit of humor in reacting to Donald Trump's endorsing one of his opponents. He said that he has been opposed by candidates with even stronger support in Alabama. Reynolds had been opposed by Dr. Gaylon McCullough eight years ago.

"Gaylon was the star center for Coach Bear Bryant, and they won the national championship." 

Reynolds won that race.

Four years ago, Reynolds was re-elected (again) with no opposition.

Reynolds has spent 16 years as Alabama's National Committeeman. He said Friday, "I have spent the whole time taking Alabama values to the RNC, not bringing RNC values to Alabama. I will keep on doing that if re-elected."

Reynolds said the RNC "is going in some directions that are not good for Alabama."

Reynolds' wife Joan is active in the Republican Party, including serving as chair of the Shelby County Republican Party.

The Republican National Committeeman is elected by the State Republican Executive Committee, which meets on Saturday, February 10 at 10 a.m. at the Birmingham Sheraton. There are 464 members who will vote.

The committee will also consider policy resolutions and internal rule changes.

This is the final meeting of the SREC before the March 5 Republican primary on Super Tuesday.

Jim Zeigler is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at [email protected].

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