In-fighting inside a state political party structure may seem of little consequence outside the party, particularly in a state where the party in disarray isn’t the predominate party.

But the trouble in the Alabama Democratic Party structure escalated over the weekend when the Democratic National Committee voted to deny seats to two state party leaders, Chairwoman Nancy Worley and Vice-Chair Randy Kelley, because the state party missed two deadlines to hold new elections for leadership positions and revise bylaws.

That’s a bold rebuke from national party leaders, and effectively silences Alabama Democrats’ voice within the national structure.

Worley waved off the censure: “It shouldn’t affect anything in the state party,” she said.

She’s wrong. It does, and it should. It sends the message to members of the state party that their leadership is not on the same page as the national party. It sends a message that the national party has lost confidence in Alabama party leaders, and perhaps the Alabama party should as well.

If Alabama Democrats hope to strengthen their party, they must start with effective leadership. Worley and Kelley should initiate the process arranging new election of party officers, and then stepping down.

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