Former Ala. Democratic Party head resigns, creates non-profit - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Former Ala. Democratic Party head resigns, creates non-profit

Mark Kennedy. Source: WBRC video Mark Kennedy. Source: WBRC video

Monday, the former head of the Alabama Democratic Party resigned and created a new fundraising organization to back Democratic candidates. The non-profit will be called the Alabama Democratic Majority.

"This is a foundation that exists to promote a message and register voters to build field program for our candidates. We have to be relevant in Montgomery," Mark Kennedy said.

The Alabama Republican Party has moved into a majority party in the state legislature and most state offices. The state Democratic Party has had a problem of attracting white voters. Kennedy said his organization will change that.

"That is our goal: to be more inclusive. To get more white, black, and get people of all color and religions," Kennedy said.

Joe Reed, who heads the Alabama Democratic Conference, the black arm of the Alabama Democratic Party, has clashed with Kennedy in the past. Reed said it's not his job to increase white voters in the party.

"It is up to white folks to decide what they want to be. If they want to be Republicans they can be Republicans. If they want to be Bull Moose they can be Bull Moose. It's not my responsibility to get whites into the [state] Democratic Party," Reed said.

There were few elected African American lawmakers at the announcement. Fairfield Rep. Rod Scott attended the news conference.

"We shouldn't make this a person issue. I think this is about broadening the net for Democrats in Alabama," Scott said.

Former First Lady Marsha Folsom said the organization is not out to hurt the Alabama Democratic Party.

"There is no way it can hurt. It just adds another dimension to be involved and to be involved in a very important movement," Folsom said.

Reed told FOX6 News that Kennedy wants to use the Alabama Democratic Majority for political gain.

"I think he is getting ready to run for governor. I don't think this has to do with a plan to run Democrats. It's a preliminary campaign committee," Reed said.

It's a point Kennedy denies.

"If anyone runs for governor in my house it will be my wife. I have no plans to run for public office," Kennedy said.

Kennedy's wife Peggy is the daughter of former Governor George Wallace.

Copyright 2013 WBRC. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly