Let the political season begin

Published 7:49 pm Wednesday, December 28, 2005

By By Michele Gerlach
I'm looking forward to 2006 in the same way that a football fanatic looks forward to fall. My favorite spectator sport – politics – is about to be in season.
Alabamians will elect a governor and other constitutional officers; Escambia County residents face state Senate and House of Representatives elections and several county offices, including circuit judge, probate judge and sheriff.
The pre-season has already been pretty interesting. Incumbent Gov. Bob Riley, facing opposition in his party's primary from Roy "Ten Commandments" Moore, is struggling to position himself in a way that will neither offend conservatives nor look as if he's trying to "out-God" his opponent.
On the Democratic side, never-say-die Don Siegelman is trying to do his own version of Bill Clinton's "comeback kid," and Lucy Baxley's just reminding folks that they "love Lucy." Siegelman actually was gaining ground among Democrats who hesitated to open their wallets for a woman who's yet to declare what issues she'll support. However, the latest round round of Siegelman indictments probably ended that.
Our own Senate district will produce one of the most interesting races of the year. Incumbent Send. Pat Lindsey (D-Butler) will reportedly face opposition from Baldwin County's John McMillan, who is retiring from his job as executive director of the Alabama Forestry Association. McMillan, 64, is a former state legislator whose twin brother, Steve McMillan, currently holds a seat in the House of Representatives.
Lindsey vs. McMillan will be a classic Trial Lawyers vs. Big Business match-up, and you can expect to see major bucks spent on their campaigns. So far, neither faces opposition in their parties' primaries.
Four years ago, Thomasville Mayor Sheldon Day came close to toppling Lindsey. It was quite probably the last-minute negative direct mail campaign launched in Day's behalf that tipped the scales for Lindsey. Look for more of the same in 2006.
In the state House of Representatives race, incumbent F.P. "Skippy" White of Pollard shows no signs of ending his political career. So far, he's only drawn opposition from Brewton's Alan Baker, a Republican and a political newcomer.
Republican candidates can begin qualifying Jan. 3; Democratic qualifying begins in March; both end on April 7.
Michele Gerlach is publisher of the Brewton Standard. She can be reached at 867-4876.

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