Ala. on cusp of best years in mod­ern po­lit­i­cal his­tory

Cherokee County Herald - - VIEWPOINTS -

the con­sti­tu­tional change in the 1970’s Bibb Graves of Mont­gomery had done it early in the cen­tury and Big Jim Fol­som did it in 1946 and again in 1954.

Now that gov­er­nors can suc­ceed them­selves, it has be­come com­mon prac­tice for gov­er­nors to serve eight years rather than four. Thus, the 2018 gover­nor’s race will be a once in an eight year op­por­tu­nity. Folks, we are in for one heck of a year and the bell rings on June 6. There­fore, the horses will be­gin lin­ing up over the next few months. It will be a great cav­al­cade of char­ac­ters.

The early fa­vorite horse in the 2018 Derby is Roy Moore. The Chief Jus­tice’s ex­pul­sion from the bench by the Ju­di­cial In­quiry Com­mis­sion has pro­pelled him to strato­spheric lev­els in polling. Lead­ing a horse race is a good anal­ogy for Moore since he tra­di­tion­ally rides his horse to vote at his polling place in Gallant in ru­ral Etowah County.

Some of you may ques­tion Moore’s pop­u­lar­ity, but the num­bers are there in ev­ery poll. The JIC has made him a mar­tyr. Alabama is a very re­li­gious state and be­ing thrown out of of­fice by an un­ac­count­able com­mis­sion for be­ing against ho­mo­sex­ual mar­riages is a pretty good is­sue to run on in the Bi­ble Belt.

Roy Moore is the wild card in the early 2018 jock­ey­ing. Most folks have him in the gover­nor’s race. How­ever, he has two other op­tions. At­tor­ney gen­eral or the U.S. Se­nate seat. He would prob­a­bly win ei­ther of these posts. The gover­nor’s of­fice is an­other ques­tion. His­tor­i­cally, peo­ple do not think of him as gover­nor. He lost mis­er­ably both times he ran, whereas he wins hand­ily for a state judge­ship. His best race is for at­tor­ney gen­eral or U.S. Se­nate.

Twin­kle An­dress Ca­van­naugh has a free shot in 2018. She was just re­elected to a four year term as Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent. She is al­ready out run­ning for gover­nor and some­times the early bird gets the worm.

State Agri­cul­ture Com­mis­sioner John McMil­lan is term lim­ited in that job that he has done well for eight years. He is well liked by ev­ery­one who knows him and is plan­ning to run for gover­nor.

Young Boozer has also served his two term eight year limit as State Trea­surer. He is a wild card and gives no hints as to what his fu­ture po­lit­i­cal plans are for 2018. Young is not a nat­u­ral politi­cian. He is an eru­dite Stan­ford ed­u­cated suc­cess­ful banker who was per­fectly suited for the State Trea­surer’s post and he has done an ex­cel­lent job.

Sec­re­tary of State John Mer­rill is prob­a­bly the best re­tail politi­cian in the state at this time. Lots of peo­ple have en­cour­aged him to run. How­ever, he is one of the few con­sti­tu­tional of­fice­hold­ers who can run for re­elec­tion in 2018. He will prob­a­bly bide his time and run for re-elec­tion.

State Se­nate Pres­i­dent Pro Tem Del Marsh of An­nis­ton is itch­ing to pull the trig­ger on the gover­nor’s race, but be­ing a pow­er­ful state sen­a­tor does not trans­late into statewide name iden­ti­fi­ca­tion. How­ever, Marsh is said to be wealthy. If he were to spend $3 mil­lion to $5 mil­lion of his own money he could be a player.

The very pop­u­lar mayor of Huntsville, Tommy Bat­tle, is se­ri­ously con­sid­er­ing the race. If he joins the fray he could be a player. He would come out of the Ten­nessee Val­ley with a strong start. There are a lot of votes in North Alabama.

We are in for a heck of a cam­paign year. I will keep you posted. Steve Flow­ers is Alabama’s lead­ing po­lit­i­cal colum­nist. His weekly col­umn ap­pears in over 60 Alabama newspapers. He served 16 years in the state leg­is­la­ture. Steve may be reached at www.steve­flow­ers. us.

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