Accusations 'not accurate' Fielding says: Democrats allege state senator switching to Republican
by Aziza Jackson
TALLADEGA COUNTY — State Sen. Jerry Fielding, D-Sylacauga, said that accusations from State Democratic Party Chairman Mark Kennedy about him switching parties and caucusing with the Republican supermajority are “not accurate.”

Kennedy released statements Monday afternoon criticizing Fielding’s alleged plans to switch to the Republican Party halfway through his term.

“I’ve known Jerry Fielding for more than 20 years, and I’ve never known him to be anything but a man of principle and a good Democrat,” Kennedy said.

“I find it hard to believe that Jerry would turn his back on his party and the people who have elected him time and time again. While the matter of choosing a political party is a personal prerogative, it is disingenuous and unfair to voters for officials to unexpectedly announce a party switch halfway through the term they were elected to serve.”

Fielding was elected to the Senate in 2010 and represents parts of Calhoun, Coosa, Elmore and Talladega counties.

Before being elected to the Senate as a Democrat, Fielding served for 26 years as a district and circuit court judge.

Fielding was first appointed to the bench by Democratic Gov. George Wallace and won re-election and served for almost three decades on the bench as a Democrat.

“There will be a press release sometime this week,” Fielding said.

“Kennedy’s comments are coming from the Democrats and it’s not accurate; that has not happened yet. That’s about all I can say right now.”

Fielding said that despite Kennedy’s comments on Monday, he will continue to move forward with preparing his own press release in reference to the alleged party switch.

“I have a pretty good idea of what Jerry Fielding intends to tell the voters tomorrow,” Kennedy said. “He’ll say he’s not leaving the Democratic Party. Bottom line is that Jerry Fielding buckled under the pressure of the Republican supermajority that is out to drive every white democrat out of office. The redistricting plan passed by the Republican supermajority is intended to make white Democrats in the legislature extinct, and Jerry Fielding must have decided that serving part time in the legislature is more important to him than principle or the party that has had his back for almost 30 years.

“I’ll be interested to see who the Republicans run against Jerry in the 2014 primary election. I can guarantee you that whatever promises the Republicans have made to Sen. Fielding won’t hold up.”

Contact Aziza Jackson at ajackson@dailyhome.com.

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