Republicans now hold every Alabama office elected statewide, about two-thirds of the legislative seats, and six of Alabama's seven seats in the U.S. House. "A Democrat is not going to be elected in the state of Alabama," Drake said.
He said other Cullman County Democrats have switched to the GOP without any problems, but he acknowledged they didn't have a family name legendary in Democratic politics.
As for his father, Drake said, "he's a lifelong Democrat and is still a Democrat."
Drake said he and his wife won't challenge the party ruling in court. He said running as independent or third-party candidates would be difficult because of the thousands of votes' signatures needed to qualify for a race, but it's not something he has ruled out.
Another Republican candidate for a major state office was also denied ballot access.
Anniston attorney Ray Bryan was disqualified from the race for state auditor. Bryan, who was running on a platform of abolishing the auditor's office, was not approved as a candidate because he did not file his financial disclosure statement with the Alabama Ethics Commission by the deadline set in state law, Armistead said.
The statement requires candidates to list their sources of income and their income-producing property.