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Siegelman hanging on against Baxley

By Staff
Bob Ingram, Alabama Scene
MONTGOMERY-A week ago a survey authorized by the Mobile Register and conducted by University of South Alabama Polling Group produced some very grim numbers for former Chief Justice Roy Moore in his race with Gov. Bob Riley for the GOP gubernatorial nomination.
It showed Riley leading by a two-to-one margin.
Now comes another poll by the Register-USA, which certainly had to jolt Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley in her contest with former Gov. Don Siegelman for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
These latest numbers showed Baxley leading Siegelman, but by the narrowest of margins: 37 percent to 34 percent. A year ago in a similar poll Baxley had led by a commanding 17 percentage points.
Even the chief pollster, Keith Nicholls, head of the USA Polling Group, expressed surprise at the numbers.
"I think the race is a lot tighter than a lot of people, including myself, would have expected," Nicholls said.
Despite her apparent drop in strength, Baxley said she was pleased by the results of the poll. She said she is confident her numbers will go up when she launches her media campaign in the weeks ahead.
Surprisingly, despite his much better showing than a year ago, the ever-confident Siegelman scoffed at this latest poll. A spokesman for Siegelman said their polling showed he was winning the primary by a large margin.
One telling sidebar to this latest poll…Siegelman led Baxley by a whopping 48-22 percent margin among black voters. A massive turnout of black voters in the primary could make a huge difference in the outcome of this race.
Now comes word that Bishop would like to return to his old political haunts. He has announced his intentions to run for his old seat in the Senate, this time as a Republican.
Bishop served two terms in the State Senate, and then was elected Commissioner of Agriculture as a Democrat. He made a splash in the 2002 gubernatorial campaign when he ran for governor in the Democratic Primary but after a bitter falling out with Siegelman he endorsed Republican Bob Riley in the General Election.
Bishop will be running for the seat being vacated by Sen. Curt Lee, who decided not to seek re-election in the wake of a highly publicized all-night tour of the Capitol last summer.
Most of the criticism was due to the fact that the firm she worked for, Capitol Resources of Jackson, Miss., numbered among its clients several casino operators.
Cavanaugh said her work with the firm did not involve any gambling issues but she quit "to ensure there is no appearance of any conflict of interest."
Now comes what might be called "Chair-Gate."
Larry Langford, the president of the Jefferson County Commission, is mightily upset with the County Sheriff's Department because it wants to buy six new chairs. Langford doesn't object to the sheriff buying some new chairs but he does object to what the chairs will cost–about $3,700 each. At that price they ought to be thrones.