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New GOP Chairman: Focus on County Courthouse

Newly elected Alabama Republican Party chairman Bill Armistead says the greatest challenge facing the state GOP may be “Democrats wanting to jump ship and come over and take control of the Republican party.”

This morning on FOX6 News Good Day Alabama, Armistead warned Democratic office holders who want to switch parties for the “purpose of being elected next year” won’t be welcome.

The former Shelby county senator says “conservative Democrats” with a “proven track record” will be welcomed if they consider a switch.

One Montgomery insider who knows Democratic party politics well won’t make Armistead’s list: Paul Hamrick

The one-time chief of staff for former governor Don Siegelman was announced in an email from Republican Majority Leader Sen. Jabo Waggoner as a contract consultant of PR/Communications for the Senate Republican Caucus.

It immediately prompted questions from several Senate Republicans.

Armistead says he has heard from several, “I do have a problem with that. I’m getting a lot of calls as party chairman about that. He (Sen. Waggoner) says that’s not a done deal and I’ve asked him not to make that a done deal.”

Armistead says he will focus on county courthouses in 2012 where Democrats still hold a strong majority as Probate Judges and Circuit Clerks.

He dismisses perceived factions between loyalists of former Gov. Bob Riley and supporters of Gov. Robert Bentley as “inside baseball.”

Armistead says his job will be to unite any factions to focus on 2012.

Read more of Rick Journey’s blog here.

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