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Folsom close to making decision on political race

By Staff
Bob Ingram, Alabama Scene
MONTGOMERY—The long-anticipated political showdown that us old-timers have dreamed of for decades may be on the horizon.
He has yet to make any official statement but my sources tell me that Jim Folsom Jr….the former lieutenant governor and governor…is very close to making a decision to run for lieutenant governor again in 2006.
If so, there is a better than average chance he will face George C. Wallace in the General Election.
For those handful of us who have been around long enough to see these two "juniors" grow up, this is a match made in heaven.
Folsom is the son of two-term Gov. James E. (Big Jim) Folsom, Wallace of course is the son of four-term governor George Wallace and one-term governor Lurleen Wallace.
A half century ago their fathers were political allies…the elder Wallace served as campaign manager for the elder Folsom in his successful race for a second term in 1954. Then came their split and they became bitter political enemies.
A lot has changed in the ensuing years. For one the younger Wallace switched parties. He is now a Republican, and, in fact, he is the only announced candidate for lieutenant governor in the GOP Primary.
Both men have impressive resumes in the political arena. Folsom, who is 56, served one term on the Public Service Commission, two terms as lieutenant governor, and upon the conviction of Gov. Guy Hunt on a felony charge he became governor in 1993. He was defeated in a bid for a full term in 1994 by Fob James.
Wallace, 54, served eight years as State Treasurer and is now serving his second term on the Public Service Commission.
Jack Venable was one of the finest men…one of the finest public servants…I have ever known. That he happened to be in my trade…journalism…made me even more proud of him because he reflected well on us.
At the memorial service for him at First Methodist Church in Tallassee it was standing room only…and what a gathering it was. And the tribute paid Jack by his close friend House Speaker Seth Hammett of Andalusia was nothing short of superb.
I had a long visit with Jack not many weeks ago when he was hospitalized in Montgomery and I never saw anyone quite so upbeat. He was looking leukemia square in the face and never blinked. He was already making plans for the 2006 Regular Session of the Legislature.
I am grateful that I knew Jack Venable. I will miss him…more important the people of Alabama will miss his service in the Legislature.
The TVA was created 72 years ago but for some reason no Alabamian has ever served on the governing board, a fact that has irritated people in North Alabama for decades. Only Tennessee has more subscribers to TVA electricity than Alabama.
Last week President Bush nominated five people to fill new seats on the board and one of them was Howard Thrailkill, a retired Huntsville businessman.
U. S. Sens. Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions expressed pleasure at the nomination of Thrailkill, who was president of ADTRAN before his retirement, but they had hoped even more Alabamians might be nominated.
Among those they were pushing were familiar names….former Congressman Ronnie Flippo and former State Rep. Lyn Greer.