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Rob Riley

plugs father’s campaign

By KERRY WHIPPLE

BNI Newswire

KELLYTON – Rob Riley was stumping for his father Saturday, appearing at the Kellyton Action Committee’s first political rally in Coosa County.

Riley, son of three-term U.S. Rep. Bob Riley, R-Ashland, spoke on behalf of his father.

"The people of Montgomery don’t hear the people of Alabama anymore," Riley told the small crowd, many of whom wore "Riley for Governor" T-shirts.

Bob Riley is seeking the GOP nomination and, according to recent polls, is running ahead of Lt. Gov. Steve Windom.

Riley said his father’s experience managing his own businesses would help him run the state.

When Bob Riley came back to his native Clay County at age 20, he started a chicken farm with about 10,000 chickens ­ which eventually grew to about a million chickens whose eggs were distributed all over the region and the east coast.

Rob Riley remembers one trip he took with his father to deliver eggs to Washington, D.C.

"I never dreamed one day I’d be driving up there to see my father sworn in as a congressman," Riley said.

Bob Riley also owns a car dealership in Clay County.

"He is just a small businessman," Riley said. "He’s learned you have to be wise with your money. We’ve got a lot of people in Montgomery who have never had to make a payroll.

Riley said his father wants to reform education and transportation in Alabama ­ and he wants to hire knowledgeable professionals to help him, in much the same way that President Bush has surrounded himself with experienced leaders.

That list of interested leaders includes a former Russell Corp. CEO who Riley said has offered to serve in a Riley administration ­ at $1 a year. Just this past week, Riley was endorsed by the Alabama Farmer’s Federation, one of the most powerful lobbies in the state.