MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Democratic Party leaders want a former candidate for attorney general who denies the Holocaust occurred to stay out of their future primaries.
The party's executive committee passed a resolution Saturday informing Larry Darby that "he is not welcome in the Alabama Democratic Party."
Darby, the founder of the Atheist Law Center, responded by saying the vote shows that the state party's leadership is "intellectually and morally bankrupt."
"This is the typical heavy-handed behavior of the Alabama Democratic Party for the last 30 years," Darby said. "They're censoring me for having the wrong views."
Darby lost to Mobile County District Attorney John Tyson Jr. in the June 6 primary race. He received 43 percent of the vote.
During the campaign, he denied that millions of Jews died in the Holocaust during World War II. He also called for martial law and the posting of troops on interstates entering Alabama to check for illegal immigrants.
State Rep. Alvin Holmes introduced the resolution, saying he doesn't believe Darby's views belong in the Democratic Party. Some prominent Democrats, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, urged the party to remove Darby from the ballot during the campaign.
The resolution calls the Holocaust "a vile example of anti-Semitism preached by Adolf Hitler against the Jewish people based on their race and religion."
"Larry Darby, due to his extreme views that the Holocaust did not exist, is requested not to participate in future Democratic Party primary elections or any other Democratic Party matters as his participation in the Democratic Party is not welcome," the resolution said.
Party chairman Joe Turnham said the resolution does not carry legal weight. If Darby decides to run as a Democrat in the future, it will be up to party officials to determine if he is qualified to run.
Darby said he believes the resolution passed because party leaders were surprised by how many votes he received in the race against Tyson.
"They are scared to death of me," he said. "That's why they don't want me to run, because they are afraid I'm going to win next time."
Darby thinks the resolution is an attempt to censor his speech.
"And that seems to be the antithesis of the principles of the Democratic Party," he said.