2006 races drawing interest

Published 1:35 am Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The 2006 political primaries are about 13 months away, but contenders are already lining up for the Senate District 22, which includes Escambia County.
Pat Poole of Brewton confirmed Tuesday afternoon that he plans to seek election to the Alabama Senate in District 22, which includes portions of Baldwin, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Escambia, Mobile, Monroe, and Washington counties.
Poole, who served as mayor of Evergreen from 1984-1988, said he will be a candidate in the Republican primary.
State newspapers reported last week that incumbent Republicans in both the Alabama House and Senate plan to raise $6 million to fund campaigns in an effort to gain control of the Alabama legislature. At present, Democrats hold 25 of the 35 Senate seats and 62 of the 103 House seats.
Republicans also plan to file a federal lawsuit arguing that the current district setup, fashioned by Democrats, violates the principle of one person, one vote by stacking a limited number of districts with Republican voters in order to keep Democratic control in others. A 2004 lawsuit in Georgia successfully made that case and forced the redrawing of legislative lines that led to Republicans gaining control of the state General Assembly.
Poole said he will base his campaign, which he will formally announce in a few weeks, on the issues of accountability, education and tourism. "Our education system needs to be overhauled," he said. "We're not putting enough emphasis in the classroom and I think we're putting too much money in higher ed.
He said there also needs to be a renewed focus on technical and vocational education.
Thomasville Mayor Shelton Day said Monday he hasn't decided if he will seek the Republican nomination for the office, adding that he hasn't ruled out the possibility. Day won the Republican primary for the Senate district in 2002 and was narrowly defeated by the Democratic incumbent, Sen. Pat Lindsey, in the General Election.
Lindsey, who is serving his sixth term in the state Senate, is a Butler attorney. He currently serves as chairperson of the Senate's economic expansion and trade committee; deputy chairperson of the powerful Senate rules committee; vice chairperson of the tourism and marketing committee; and is a member of the following committees: confirmations, energy and natural resources, Constitution, campaign finance, ethics and elections, finance and taxation general fund, judiciary, health, and local legislation No. 3.
Lindsey was on the Senate floor when contacted in Montgomery Tuesday afternoon, but his secretary confirmed that he does plan to seek election to a seventh term.

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