Charles Allen Graddick, Sr. (born December 10, 1944 in Mobile), is Judge of the 13th Judicial Circuit Court of the U.S. state of Alabama.
Graddick graduated in 1963 from the all-male University Military School in Mobile. The institution was the forerunner of UMS-Wright Preparatory School. In 1967, he received his undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, where he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. In 1970, Graddick obtained his Juris Doctor from the Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, having been chosen the class president. In 1975, at the age of twenty-eight, he was elected District Attorney of Mobile County, He was elected Alabama's attorney general (1979-1987), After almost 20 years in the private practice of law, he was appointed as circuit judge in 2004. He is currently the presiding senior judge. From 1969 to 1992, Graddick served in the Alabama National Guard|National Guard]]. In 1966, Graddick married the former Corinne Whiting. The couple has three children, Charles Allen Jr., Herndon Whiting, and Corinne and three grandchildren.
1986 gubernatorial race
The 1986 Alabama Democratic primary for governor featured Attorney General Graddick in a heated runoff with then Lieutenant Governor Bill Baxley. Graddick won by a few thousand votes, but the state Democratic party ruled that he had violated primary regulations by encouraging Republicans to vote in the Democratic primary. The court instructed the Democratic Party either to hold another election or to nominate Baxley, and the party chose the former.
Like Texas, Georgia, and Arkansas, Alabama does not register voters by party. At that time, the Democratic party had never enforced such a rule in any election because Alabama was a one-party state. Many Alabama voters opposed the party hierarchy and therefore voted in protest against Baxley and for H. Guy Hunt, the Republican nominee. Though he was previously considered a token candidate, Hunt won easily and became the first Alabama Republican governor since Reconstruction.
Hunt's election surprised many, since no living person had witnessed a Republican winning the election for governor of Alabama. The media had paid little attention to the Republican gubernatorial primaries, fully expecting that the nominee would be the next loser in the general election.
After the campaign for governor in 1986, Graddick established a statewide law practice and at the request of Governor Hunt in 1991 filled an unexpired term as district attorney for Montgomery County. He returned to private practice in 1992. Subsequently, Republican Governor Bob Riley appointed Graddick to fill the post left vacant when Judge William McDermott of the 13th Judicial Circuit Court died in office in May 2004. Graddick was elected in January 2005 to serve a six-year term in the same post. He was selected by his fellow circuit judges to serve as the presiding judge of the 13th Judicial Circuit. He has been reflected without opposition.
Graddick switches parties
In 2011, Graddick declared his candidacy for Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, in the Republican primary held on March 13, 2012. Graddick opposed current chief justice, Charles "Chuck" Malone, and former Chief Justice Roy Moore. Both Graddick and Malone had lobbied Governor Robert J. Bentley for his appointment to replace then Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb, who stepped down before her term expired.
Roy Moore held the chief justiceship from 2001 to 2003, when he was removed from office over the Ten Commandments dispute which received national attention. In a bid to return to his former position, in spite of all the pre-election day polls showing Graddick leading, Moore won nearly 51 percent of the ballots in the 2012 primary, having defeated both Malone and Graddick. Moore faced the Democrat Harry Lyon in the general election scheduled for November 6, 2012, only to be kicked off the ballot by the Democratic Party to be replaced by their hand-picked nominee, Robert Vance. Moore won the seat in the general election.