COFFEE CO., Ala. (WDHN)—Alabama’s Secretary of State John Merrill participated in a news conference on Thursday at the Coffee County Sheriff’s office. Several well-known Coffee County republicans quizzed Merrill about whether he was backing Sheriff Dave Sutton in a write-in campaign. WDHNS Mike Gurspan was there.

Merrill says he was invited by Sheriff Sutton to discuss the write-in procedure on the November general election ballot.

But, several longtime Coffee County Republican leaders insinuated that the sheriff was planning to
create a “write-in” campaign. In May, Sutton lost nearly 2-to-1 in the Republican primary to Enterprise businessman Scott Byrd.

Former Alabama lawmaker Dwight Adams of Coffee County says “that you being down here today is that you must be lending your support to have a write-in campaign for an individual and that being chief, Sheriff Sutton.”

Sheriff Sutton says he had no intentions to run as a “write-in” candidate. Merrill denied having any knowledge of the sheriff as a “write-in” candidate.

Coffee County GOP Chairman Ed Goy says “well as Chairman of the Coffee County Republican Committee. Obviously, I was curious about why we were having this meeting scheduled for write-in candidates.”

“I’m not aware of anybody in this county or in this part of the state that has indicated that they want to have a write-in campaign for any office,” according to Merrill.

Merrill says even if someone votes a “straight-line” party ticket. They can still fill in a write-in candidate’s name.