Siegelman, Riley top candidates

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 2, 2002

With Alabama’s top elected offices on the ballot, Tuesday’s primary elections are critically important to our democratic process.

The primaries are elections in which the two major parties ­ Republicans and Democrats ­ will select the candidates who will represent them on the November general ballot.

And while we have no contested races for the Pike County offices on this ballot, we do have several major contested races on the statewide ballot.

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Given that, we offer you our endorsements for governor on both the Republican and Democratic ticket.

We endorse incumbent Don Siegelman on the Democratic ticket and U.S. Rep. Bob Riley on the Republican ticket.

Siegelman brings his experience in state government to the ticket, and he is riding high on the success of landing Hyundai’s first American manufacturing plant here in Alabama. Siegelman admittedly has friends and foes in state government, and his controversial lottery proposal is already returning to the campaign fray. But he is by far the strongest of the Democratic candidates, and the best choice for the November ballot.

Riley, a sitting Congressman who advocates term limits and a business-man’s approach to government, is our choice in the hotly contested GOP gubernatorial race. Perhaps the most contentious race of all this campaign year, the GOP gubernatorial nomination is a highly coveted spot. Riley is facing incumbent Lt. Gov. Steve Windom and Tim James, the son of former governor Fob James.

None of these men have shied away from trading barbs and attacks, and their aggressive campaign tactics have discouraged many voters. And that is disappointing because we believe both Windom and Riley are capable candidates; unfortunately, their statewide appeal may be tarnished by the negative campaigning, and that may hurt the GOP party in November.

Still, we believe Riley is the best choice for that November ticket. He brings a strong statewide appeal, a sensible approach to government and a refreshing willingness to serve. He also stands up as the strongest candidate to face Siegelman.

There are many other races on the ballot, and we encourage you to review and use the sample ballot printed in today’s edition.

And, ultimately, whether you agree with our endorsements or not, we urge to you cast your ballot ­ and express your opinion ­ at the polls on Tuesday.  

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