Candidate Withdraws for Ala. GOP Party Chair

Theodore, AL – Jerry Lathan says he will not seek the post of Alabama Republican Party chair. The Theodore businessman was considered a favorite to succeed Marty Connors. But Lathan says he'll instead seek re-election as one of three party vice chairs and concentrate on serving as chairman of a new political group. That group will focus on winning Republican majorities in both houses of the state Legislature in 2006. Lathan says he could not simultaneously serve as party leader and as chairman of the Alabama Legislative Trust. He also says, as state party chairman, he would not have been able to take sides in GOP primaries, but he says the legislative trust will be a major player in those primaries. The more than 300-member state Republican committee is set to elect its new chair in February. Connors is finishing his second two-year term and does not plan to run again.