AL Dem Gubernatorial Hopeful Enlisted Convicted Rapist as Campaign Aide — Was Arrested for Violating Registered Sex Offender Law

Last week, reports surfaced that former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb, one of the frontrunners for Alabama’s Democratic gubernatorial nomination, enlisted a convicted rapist as a paid campaign staffer.

Paul Littlejohn III, Cobb’s now-former deputy field director, was released from prison in 1984 after serving 30 years for a 1984 rape and sodomy offense. According to Alabama Media Group columnist Roy S. Johnson, Littlejohn also did canvassing work for the 2017 campaigns of Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) and Birmingham, AL Mayor Randall Woodfin.

Cobb has defended Littlejohn, arguing during a press conference this week that he has been rehabilitated.

“Paul was convicted of a horrendous crime,” Cobb said. “That was 35 years ago, but since then, he is literally the picture of redemption.”

Shortly after Cobb’s statement, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office issued a warrant for Littlejohn III for violating the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. Littlejohn turned himself in later that day.

According to Alabama Media Group’s John Sharp, Cobb said Littlejohn resigned from the campaign on Saturday at a candidate forum in Mobile. She accused the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, headed by Republican Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale, of acting out of political motivations.

“It’s as politically motivated of a charge as I’ve seen,” Cobb said to Sharp. “Why? The Republicans don’t want to run against Sue Bell Cobb. Governor Ivey doesn’t want to run against Sue Bell Cobb. They found that as an opportunity to take advantage of information that had been sent out into the public forum.”

The Littlejohn controversy comes at a time when Democrats are championing the so-called #MeToo movement and hoping that left-leaning voters to the polls for the November midterm elections.

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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