Tuscaloosa’s Tripp Powell Ends Senate Campaign After Republicans Drop Him from Primary
Tuscaloosa business leader Tripp Powell has ended his campaign for an Alabama Senate seat a week after he was dropped from Republican primary ballots over a donation he made in 2018.
For those unfamiliar with the situation, the state Republican party's Steering Committee met earlier this month and heard a challenge to Powell's candidacy that stemmed from a $500 donation he made to Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox during his successful 2018 gubernatorial primary campaign.
Maddox won the Democratic party nomination in a crowded primary but was convincingly defeated by incumbent Republican Kay Ivey in the general election later that year.
The steering committee questioned Powell's dedication to the Republican party over the donation and ultimately voted to drop him from their primary ballots, essentially handing the GOP nomination for State Senate District 21 to long-time incumbent Senator Gerald Allen.
Powell said last week that he was strongly exploring running the race as an independent or appealing the committee decision, but ultimately announced the end of his campaign at a press conference in downtown Tuscaloosa Monday morning, saying the decision was extremely difficult to make, but that if he could not run as a Republican, he did not want to run at all.
"I am the same Republican today that I was two weeks ago before the committee made their decision," Powell said Monday. "I cannot and will not become someone else just to seek election to this office."
Powell did not rule out future political participation, though, and said part of the reason he decided not to fight the committee's decision was to leave the door open for that possibility.
"I will continue responding to the call to public service, just not in this race," Powell said. "I will remain true to my values and beliefs, and, as a Republican, I wish the party well in this election cycle."
Watch Powell's entire conference below.
With Powell out and no other Republicans running against Allen in the primary, the stage is set for Allen to face Lake View Democrat Lisa Ward in the general election later this year.