June 8th, 2013, from the Constitution Party of Alabama website:
1st Congressional Response
As many of you know, there will be a special election for U.S. Congress this fall. The election is not official, but is pending the August resignation of Representative Jo Bonner. The following addresses some of the questions we have received:
Will the Constitution Party of Alabama enter this race? There are several factors that will determine whether or not the state party enters this race. The first obstacle, as with any election, will be party ballot access. It has been confirmed by the Secretary of State’s office that we would need 5938 signatures to qualify. This alone would cost any candidate or third party over $10,000 dollars just to qualify.
Second will be the time frame to collect the signatures. There are no set guidelines for a governor to follow, and Governor Bentley can use any sequence he chooses. It is expected that the time frame to collect the signatures will be between 8-12 weeks. So, any candidate would need to hit the door running with his petitioners the day the governor announces.
Third, I find it concerning that the election will only fulfill the remaining term. This election is predicted to happen in late October or early November, and the representative would serve until Christmas break and then come back and have to immediately begin campaigning for their 2014 reelection.
Can the Constitution Party achieve ballot access? This is achievable for a candidate who is dedicated and has the funds to pay for ballot access. In 2010, the state party and our candidate, David Walters, qualified for this same election. David’s campaign staff garnered over 8500 signatures in five months. He then ran a very efficient campaign with little money and received 26,357 votes, narrowly missing re-qualifying by three percentage points.
There are numerous pros and cons about this election and participation by the Constitution Party of Alabama. We are not in a position to contribute financially to a petition drive of this magnitude. However, if a candidate expresses interest and they have the finances to bring in paid petitioners or the organization to collect the necessary signatures, and meeting the other requirements for our party, we will allow said candidate to seek our nomination and run on our banner.