Saturday, October 08, 2005

Now it's on for real

As expected, Gov. Bob Riley announced during his 61st birthday party in Birmingham today that he will seek re-election next year. He's the last of Alabama's big four gubernatorial contenders -- Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley, ousted Chief Justice Roy Moore, and former Gov. Don Siegelman are the others -- to make his intentions known, as Hurricane Katrina prompted Riley to postpone his announcement from its original Labor Day date.

The conventional wisdom is that the Moore-Riley showdown in the Republican primary could split the GOP's business and religious wings. But Riley showed some determination today not to let Moore, for lack of a better word, "out-God" him: "Some say they can no longer acknowledge God in government. I think that's sad. Because I acknowledge Him every day -- in speeches, in the office, in meetings, schools, and churches. We can all do that every day in the way we live our lives."

State Sen. Harri Anne Smith, R-Slocomb, also is considering a gubernatorial run, but her comparative lack of statewide name recognition makes it difficult to envision her doing much more than forcing her two better-known GOP opponents into a runoff.

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