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Logic says Folsom will run

By Staff
Bob Ingram, Alabama Scene
MONTGOMERY – Try as I might, I still can't get anyone close to the man to tell me what his political intentions are.
The man I speak of is former Gov. Jim Folsom Jr., and the question I have to sought to get an answer is will he or will he not run for lieutenant governor this year.
I saw a host of big-time Democrats at the Embassy Suite in Montgomery a few days ago and to a man they were confident Folsom will run — but none was absolutely sure.
Last Thursday I attended the induction ceremony of the Alabama Woman's Hall of Fame at Judson College and among those present for the occasion was Marsha Folsom, the wife of Jim Jr. I just knew I would get an answer to my question from her. But I didn't.
She answered my question was a question of her own: "What do you think?" She then gave me one of her pretty smiles and walked away.
Political logic tells me Folsom will run. The office of lieutenant governor is one of the few on the state level held by a Democrat (Lucy Baxley) and she is vacating it to run for governor. The Democrats cannot give up this seat by default but so far nary a Democrat has announced for the office.
My gut feeling — my strong gut feeling — is that Folsom will run and those of us who have been around for a long time will finally get to see the race we have dreamed of: Jim Folsom Jr. versus George Wallace Jr.
Julian Bond, the top man for the NAACP, was the keynote speaker. He was introduced by Fred Gray.
Former Gov. Don Siegelman kicked off his campaign for a second term in that office last weekend and in the process extended his record-breaking run for state offices.
This will be the eighth consecutive election in which he has been a candidate for statewide office. He already holds the record for having been elected to the most constitutional offices: secretary of state, attorney general, lieutenant governor and governor.
Historians may remember a powerful political figure late in the 19th century named R. F. Kolb, who ran so many times that critics suggested his initials stood for "Run Forever." Even Kolb couldn't match Siegelman's record.
A crowd of about 200 people showed up at Summit shopping center for the kick-off, not an impressive number when compared to the kick-offs of some candidates in the past.
Comes to mind Big Jim Folsom's kick-off rally at Garrett Coliseum in 1954 — 10,000 people were there.
Siegelman clearly has not lost his sense of humor despite the legal problems facing him. One of his one-liners: "I had a great speech to deliver but it got subpoenaed before I got here."
Several large fruit jars were stationed around the room for people to make contributions and one of them was labeled "Riley Relocation Fund."
As the title suggests, the play covered the early years of the Wallace family when they lived in Clayton, from the time he was elected circuit judge until he was elected governor.
Alva Lambert, who sounds more like Wallace than Wallace did, was perfectly cast in that role but I must admit my favorite was the performance by the Rev. Stephen McGurkin as Billy Watson. He captured Watson perfectly.
And I have to wonder how "Mr. Billy" would react if he knew his role had been played by a preacher.

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