Secondary elections interesting
Published 5:20 pm Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Last week we discussed the judicial races. This week we will focus on the remaining secondary statewide contests. Many of these positions arouse very little interest among the average Alabama voter because the majority of you could care less who holds the office of State Auditor or Secretary of State. In fact, if a poll were taken in two months less than 10% of Alabama voters could tell you who held these positions, probably could not even recognize the candidates name and more than likely could not tell you who they voted for in that race.
The Governor's race is the bell cow battle. Voters will actually make a conscious decision as to who they want for Governor. It is proven that the Governor's race will have some coattails. For example if Gov. Riley wins big in his reelection contest, as many polls indicate could happen, it will affect these down ballot races and translate into support for the down ballot republican candidates. If that happens you could see a sweep for republicans.
In the race for Attorney General Troy King is a Riley appointee and has never been elected in his own right. In fact, in his only other statewide race in 2002 he finished third in the GOP primary for Secretary of State. He had no experience as a prosecutor when Gov. Riley appointed him two years ago. He had never tried a case. In contrast, the democratic nominee, John Tyson Jr. has been the District Attorney of Mobile County for nearly a decade and has prosecuted hundreds of criminal cases.
The State Treasurer's race should be a cakewalk for republican incumbent Kay Ivey. However there are five down ballot races below Treasurer that will be interesting and exciting contests. All five should be rated as even or tossups.
The Secretary of State race between Republican Beth Chapman and Democrat Nancy Worley should be a good one. Chapman is the sitting State Auditor and is eyeing moving over to Secretary of State. Worley, the democratic incumbent, has been embroiled in controversy since her first days in office. In a job where you really should not make enemies she has managed to stir up bad publicity.
The Place 2 PSC race will be one of best on the ballot. This seat is open due to George Wallace Jr. vacating it to run for Lt. Governor. Perry Hooper Jr., who is a wily politician in his own right, inherits a golden political name. His father, Perry Hooper Sr., is loved statewide. Hooper Sr. was one of the founders and fathers of the modern Republican Party in Alabama and was the State's first Republican Supreme Court Chief Justice.
Incumbent Democratic Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks should win. However former State Senator Albert Lipscomb, who hails from Baldwin County, could make it close.
The State Auditor's race, which is so low profile, will probably hinge on the Governor's race. Democrat Janie Baker Clarke and Republican Samantha “Sam” Shaw are both qualified women. This race should be a weathervane as to voter party preference in Alabama. These stories will unfold in less than two weeks.
Steve Flowers served 16 years in the State Legislature. He may be reached at www.steveflowers.us <http://www.steveflowers.us/> .