Moore speaks about upcoming vote

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 9, 2004

DEMOPOLIS – State Senate hopeful Thomas Moore fielded questions to a near-capacity crowd in the classroom at Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital Thursday morning.

Moore had been invited to address a Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce business breakfast and continued his efforts to get out the vote in next Tuesday’s special election run-off between him and State Rep. Bobby Singleton.

Moore told the group that he was optimistic of a win.

“We’re encouraged in Tuscaloosa County and encouraged in the other areas of the district as well,” Moore said.

He and Singleton are vying for the senate seat left vacant by the resignation of Charles Steele over the summer. Steele is now president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The district includes all of Sumter and Greene counties and portions of Marengo, Hale, Perry, Choctaw and Bibb counties.

Moore leads his Democratic challenger coming out of the primary with about one percent more of the vote, and has been endorsed by several organizations such as the Business Council of Alabama.

Thursday he picked up another, although unofficial, endorsement from BWWMH Administrator Mike Marshall.

“The hospital association doesn’t officially endorse candidates, but unofficially we have endorsed this candidate,” he told Chamber members and guests.

“I can’t underscore enough the importance of having a friendly face in Montgomery. I implore you: get people out to vote,” he said.

Marshall told Chamber members that Thomas’ pro-business philosophy and ability to bring divergent groups together are qualities necessary for the district’s next senator.

Singleton, too, claims to be pro-business.

“We need jobs right now in our district, and I’ve been actively doing something about getting them here,” he said.

He points to the recent location of a 150-plus job plant in Perry County, work to bring federal funding for infrastructure improvement and a long-term objective of high-tech jobs for the district as selling points for his senatorial bid.

“I’ve been in the Legislature doing,” he said.

Boiling the race down to just a few points is hard for both candidates, and each points to an established track record of successful public service to garner votes – and every vote will count.

“Absentees are going to be critical in this race,” said Moore, who estimated absentee ballots could count for as much as 45 percent of the vote in the special election.

“Absentee ballots get a bad name because of abuse, but they’re going to factor into this election,” he said.

Thursday was the deadline to request absentee ballots. Marengo County Probate Judge Cindy Neilson said only emergency requests for absentee ballots could be made after the deadline, those dealing with last minute health or employment issues the only legitimate requests from now until the election.

Unofficially in Hale County, about 1,000 absentee ballots have been requested for special election. Marengo County absentee ballot requests were unavailable at press time.