Former state Senator Myron Penn said Friday that he is running for chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party in new leadership elections ordered by national party officials.
Penn said in a telephone interview that he hopes to help unify and rebuild a fractured party.
"I'm tired of sides. We shouldn't have sides within our family," Penn said.
Penn is the first challenger to emerge against current Chairwoman Nancy Worley in the new elections for party chair and vice chair. Although he is running against Worley, Penn said he doesn't consider himself to be opposing her.
The credentials committee of the Democratic National Committee on Thursday ordered the party to conduct new elections within 90 days after complaints about procedures in the August election where Worley was elected.
The full DNC must give final approval to the recommendation, but people on both sides of the dispute said they expect that to happen. The committee also ordered a review of party bylaws.
Penn is an attorney from Union Springs. He also served on the Bullock County Commission and worked for Governor Jim Folsom Jr.
Penn says he believes the party needs to put more focus on fundraising.
"Funding is the mother's milk of campaigns. Our candidates need money to run," Penn said.