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Alabama Elections Directory 2006

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Monday, November 14, 2005

More GOP Legislators Back Riley

On Sunday, The Decatur Daily demonstrated why it just might have the best political coverage of any paper in the state. The Daily contacted each Republican member of the State House delegation and polled them on their preference in the gubernatorial primary.

Out of the 27 (out of 41) members who responded 7 members said they were undecided or didn't want to comment.

Bob Riley led Roy Moore 18-2 among the members who gave a preference. However, not all of the members were not willing to go "on the record". Indeed, neither of the Moore supporters wanted to be publicly outed, and around half of the Riley backers stayed anonymous.

Those legislators unabashedly in favor of Riley are:

Mike Ball - Huntsville - HD 10
DuWayne Bridges - Valley - HD 38
Mac Gipson - Prattville - HD 88
Lynn Greer - Rogersville - HD 02
Mickey Hammon - Decatur - HD 04
Mike Hubbard - Auburn - HD 79
Mary Sue McClurkin - Pelham - HD 43
Cam Ward - Alabaster - HD 49
Jack Williams - Birmingham - 47

The most interesting comments, however, were from two GOP legislators who aren'tt thrilled with either of the two leading candidates.

"The choices are ethics questions, no experience or ideas, an agenda that seems to go back to a previous era and Amendment One," [Ronald]Johnson [from Sylacauga] said.

Rep. Elwyn Thomas, R-Oneonta, is wishing for a "neither of the above" button to push. "I was hoping someone else would run. I think there are a lot of fences to be mended."
I am a little surprised that a Republican legislator would be candid enough to publicly criticize both candidates. Perhaps a Tim James or Harri Anne Smith candidacy isn't as hopeless as previously thought.

Overall, this poll doesn't tell us much we didn't already know. The GOP establishment overwhelmingly prefers Riley. But it is interesting that the fear of Moore and his army of activists is enough to keep well over half of the House GOP caucus from publicly supporting the incumbent Republican governor.

Additionally, this poll helps fill out the AlabamaElections "Endorsement Watch", which monitors public supporters of each GOP candidate.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are right. It is amazing that so few legislators are willing to back Riley. Notice most that are willing are from urban areas-- traditionally strong for Rockefeller Republicans.

But this is old news because normally an incumbent or "favorate son" will surround himself with establishment supporters during his kickoff. The fact that Riley did not have every Republican legislator at his kickoff posing for group photos was indicative of his weakness.

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