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The Millbrook Independent

May 25th
Riley jumps in the middle of State Senate election
Written by News Desk   
Thursday, 17 July 2014 11:19

bobmartinBy Bob Martin, Publisher

Former Gov. Bob Riley has jumped head-on into the District 30 State Senate Race between Millbrook businessman Harris Garner and Prattville City Councilman Clyde Chambliss. They are vying to become the Republican nominee for that Senate seat.

The only other candidate in the race is an independent, former state prosecutor and military lawyer Bryan Morgan, who the GOP nominee will face in November.

Riley's Alabama 2014 PAC has paid for a series of slick negative fliers mailed this past weekend on behalf of Chambliss to voters in the district, which consists of all of Autauga and Coosa Counties, half of Elmore County, the southern part of Chilton and a small piece of Tallapoosa County. It is the largest Senate District in Alabama. The Riley folks don't even try to disguise they're paying for the slick mail pieces. "Paid for by Alabama 2014 PAC" (The Riley PAC), is boldly printed on the fliers.

It is curious to many that Riley remains interested, particularly a single State Senate seat, one of 35 in the state. Doesn't he have bigger fish to fry? Could it be that his interest in this Senate seat is because his former employee, Bryan Taylor, a resident of Autauga County, holds the seat and decided not to seek re-election? Heck, why not? The former governor tosses money around just like he did while in office and now he's probably got more.

Mr. Chambliss appeared last week to be somewhat defensive about the situation regarding the mail pieces. He issued the following statement: "Some of you received negative mail pieces today that were critical of my opponent" (Mr. Garner). "I want to be clear that I did not fund, solicit, or approve those ads" (the negative fliers accusing Mr. Garner as selling out to the "liberal special interests, sinking to a new low, and being invested in by Obama."

"I pledged a clean campaign and I have run one." Mr. Chambliss asserts. "I am frustrated and disappointed that a third party inserted themselves into my race. I do have mailers in process from my campaign. You will receive them in the next day or two and you will find that they are consistent with my message. I have contacted those responsible for the mailer to express my displeasure and to call on them to stay out of this race. I will control what I can and I will not engage in a mud-slinging campaign."

I will take Mr. Chambliss at his word, but he should, I believe be as anxious to clear this up as those whomever did it.

In the meantime, may the best man win, but tragically, sometimes that doesn't happen.

Taylor pursues Ethics position

And speaking of Bryan Taylor, the newsletter, Inside Alabama Politics (IAP), reports that former Sen. Taylor is seeking the position as director of the State Ethics Commission. IAP asserts that Taylor, who is leaving the legislature at the end of his current term, is in "hot pursuit" of the position. In his quest for the position, Taylor is enlisting the support of his former boss and mentor, Bob Riley.

It is my opinion that Taylor's chances are slim. According to IAP sources several members of the Senate have already approached the Senate President Del Marsh of Anniston, and the chair of the Confirmations Committee, Jabo Waggoner of Vestavia Hills, to object to Taylor's apparent attempt to secure the position.

IAP reports two other names are being circulated as the possible successor to the retiring director of the commission, Jim Sumner. They are State Sen. Jerry Fielding of Sylacauga and Ragan Ingram, a former deputy commissioner in the Department of Insurance.

In highlighting his career at Ethics, Sumner told IAP and The Montgomery Independent the following: "The highlight that's really going to stand out, among several, is the adoption between 2010 and 2012 of several amendments to the ethics law that we had advocated for years. Those were the highlights."

Bob Martin is Editor and Publisher of The Montgomery Independent. He is the Publisher of The Millbrook Independent. E-mail him at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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