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Alabama Elections Directory 2006

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Smith To Pull Plug on Gov Campaign; Will Back Riley

Harri Anne Smith and Bob Riley will hold a press conference today. Smith will abandon her potential bid for governor and instead endorse Bob Riley for re-election. Smith is not leaving the political scene altogether though as she will run for re-election to her State Senate seat.

Smith seemed to want to run, but could never really find a rationale for her candidacy. Not to mention that it would have taken a minor miracle for her to be anything other than an afterthought in the gov race. But her flirtation with the governor's race has improved her name recognition and probably given her contacts throughout the state she wouldn't otherwise have. I'll be surprised if she doesn't pull the trigger on a run for higher office at some point in the next cycle or two.

This will be seen as a boost for Riley as Smith probably would have drawn more from the incumbent than challenger Roy Moore. Also, assuming the GOP field solidifies as a two man race, a runoff would be out of the picture. However, from Moore's point of view, he now has a monopoly on the anti-Riley vote. Of course the Riley camp can now say the same thing about the anti-Moore vote.

Ultimately, this has long been a two man race and a Smith candidacy was unlikely to change the fundamental dynamics at play. With Smith on the sidelines, Bob Riley and Roy Moore can now duke it out man to man sooner rather than later.

19 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hate to see her pull out. But you make a good point, this 'trial run' has given her more name recognition in the northern portion of the state, and I suspect she will be a major contender in the future...if not for governor, then at least for some other higher office. She has fire in her belly and she takes care of her constituents as if they were all her own family. With values like that, she is a true state treasure.

5:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting timing on this endorsement. I wonder if it has anything to do with the failure of Riley's people to change the voting rules to prohibit crossover Democrat votes in a primary runoff.

If the Riley rule had passed, the best time for a Smith endorsement would have been right after the primary. Because the rule change failed, now is as good a time as any for Riley to try and solidify his base of support.

7:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder what Smith is getting out of the deal -- perhaps a promise of Riley's support for some position in the future? If promised support is all Smith gets, she'd better check with people Riley made promises to during his first campaign for governor to see how many promises were kept after the election was over.

7:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bottom line on this and the only way it can be looked at: This is more good news for Riley. It is bad news for Moore. The only chance Moore had was in a runoff, when he would get a lot of Democrats voting for him because he is the weaker of the two candidates. That's why Moore wanted Paul Hubbert, Joe Reed and other Democrats to be able to cross over -- so they would select the GOP nominee.

8:38:00 AM  
Blogger TeeRob said...

Smith has absolutely no credibility. She used to be a pro-choice Democrat but knew she couldn't get elected in the
Wiregrass with that position.The only reason she thought about running for Gov. was that Wallace Malone had given her a million dollars because he hates Riley. She is seen as a lightweight by the Montgomery crowd.

9:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Smith will read the provocative comments following Zac's post on the Baxley video. If so, ouch!

9:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Teerob, I just want you to know that none of your facts are correct regarding Senator Smith. She was a Democrat in the days when everyone was a Democrat and made the same transition nearly every current Republican made. She IS NOT pro-choice and never has been. She is very much against abortion -- she wasn't rated the most conservative member of the legislature for nothing. Harri Anne is one of only a handful of values in Montgomery. If you don't believe that, ask any lobbyist. And also, Wallace Malone never committed an exact amount of money to her campaign. He told her all along she had his support, but he never made a contribution. The million dollars was from elsewhere.

11:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Smith for Congress? said...

For what it's worth, I think the price for Smith backing out was a Bob Riley endorsement for Congress when Everett retires. It's logical.

Bottom line, Smith is very smart. She was the only candidate who used her conservative credentials to jump in a hotly contested race and wait for Riley to flinch. Moore is not a deal-cutter. But Riley is. My hat's off to Smith.

Look for a Smith congressional run in 2008 or sooner. It will be well funded and Riley will be at the Houston County Court House with her to make the announcement.

11:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, but you're never going to see "Smith for Congress" signs around the Wiregrass. I have personally tried to convince Harri Anne to go to Washington, but she won't even take the idea into consideration. Her home is South Alabama and that's where she wants to stay. There were no deals cut in her backing down, I can assure you.

2:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm just curious with Smith's announcement we now only have three state senators that are NOT seeking re-election. Does anyone expect any other state senator to retire or run for higher office this year?

5:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Sir Bob said...

Looks like Eddie Curran has Riley's number too. Check out today's Mobile Register article.

5:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There were no deals cut in her backing down, I can assure you.

Then Smith has failed her constitutents by squandering valuable political capital. Shame on her.

8:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The anguish of you Moore people over this is palpable.

11:54:00 AM  
Blogger PoliSciZac said...

That's correct, there are 3 State Sens not running for re-election. Hap Myers, Curt Lee, and Tommy Ed Roberts.

I am not sure it's a sure thing that Sundra Escott will run again as she has two very strong challengers.

But I don't know of any specific senators who are thought likely to retire, but there are usually some surprises near the filing deadline.

2:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought that thief escott russell was on her way to prison for the same stuff hank sanders is about to get popped for and locy baker too. grant fraud

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