Run-offs not likely in local elections

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 18, 2006

MONTGOMERY &8212; The Alabama Legislature has passed a law

putting off the run-off elections in Alabama until July 18 to allow time for members of the armed forces serving around the world to vote in that election.

It is a safe bet that when those men and women in uniform get those run-off ballots they will all ask the same question: Is this all there is to it?

There will be no run-offs to be resolved in a surprisingly large number of statewide races because a

record number of state offices up for grabs attracted only a single candidate, hence no run-off will be necessary.

The most noteworthy is the race for lieutenant governor in the Democrat Primary.

The lone qualifier…and he qualified at the last minute…was Jim Folsom Jr.

He automatically became the nominee of the party and his name will not appear on a ballot until November.

Three other major state offices on the Democrat ballot will not require a run-off because only one candidate qualified&8212;-incumbent Commissioner of Agriculture Ron Sparks drew no opposition in the primary in his bid for a second term; Sue Bell Cobb is unopposed in her bid for the Chief Justice nomination; and long-time Public Service Commissioner Jan Cook is likewise unopposed in the primary.

There are four Republicans who escaped primary opposition in bids for state office.

State Treasurer Kay Ivey is unopposed in the primary; so is State Auditor Beth Chapman, who is vacating that job to run for Secretary of State.

Also unopposed in the GOP primary is former State Sen. John Rice, who aspires to unseat the aforementioned Jan Cook on the PSC.

Lastly, former State Sen. Albert Lipscomb of Magnolia Springs was the lone Republican to qualify for Agriculture Commissioner.

And when you consider that is most unlikely there will be a run-off in either of the gubernatorial primaries, what that means is that the ballot on July 17 will be one of the shortest on record.

One incumbent who didn&8217;t escape primary opposition was Atty. Gen. Troy King, the Republican appointed to the post two years ago by Gov. Riley.

In the final hours of the qualifying season Mark Monteil of Montgomery qualified to challenge King in the GOP primary.

Twice in past years Monteil was appointed to judgeships but both times he was defeated when he ran for a full term.

Monteil wasted little time before launching an attack on King, calling the 37-year-old AG too inexperienced to be in that office.

Bob Ingram has covered Alabama politics for over 50 years.