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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Was Sanders decision an honest one?

Dear Editor,

For months Hank Sanders had made it publicly known he would run for and serve one last term as Senator of District 23.

He qualified in January but no one stepped up to run against him in the Democratic Primary.  Perhaps they thought, why challenge a deeply entrenched 35 year incumbent with deep pockets… after all, his seat will be open next term and easier to win. Nobody wanted a piece of “The Rock.”  Many have tried, all have failed.

However, on the very last day a candidate could qualify to challenge him a change of heart occurred and Sanders decided not to run.

Did he notify the media so last minute challengers could qualify? No, he called his daughter, Malika, and she qualified with little time to spare before the deadline.

The media was not notified until the day after qualifying had closed. When qualifying closed at 5 p.m. on Feb. 9, with no challengers, she was destined to become the Democratic candidate for District 23, and, without a challenger in November’s general election, she will be our new State Senator. How convenient.

Sanders once wrote “Timing is critical in so much of what we do.” I believe it was very critical in this case.

Did Hank Sanders make honest decisions with the best interest of the citizens of District 23 at heart, or were there other motivations behind his actions.  I don’t know.  Were we played?

Are we still being played? I don’t know that either.

The voters of District 23 must decide that for themselves.

What I do know is that in 2018 the voters of “Hank’s District” will not have a voice, or vote, in choosing the Democratic candidate. That has already been done for them.

The only good news is that it is not too late to qualify as an Independent to run against Malika Sanders-Fortier in the November general election.  Information can be found on the Alabama Secretary of State website AlabamaVotes on how to qualify for the November election.

It is my hope that someone will now step up, throw their hat in the ring and restore the power to the people of District 23.



Benjamin Austin