Seal of approval

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Marengo County Chapter of the New South Coalition announced the candidates it would endorse for office in the June 6 primary.

At the top of the ballot, the coalition endorsed Democratic Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley to be Alabama’s next governor. Torn between Baxley and former Gov. Don Siegelman – who, Chapter President Thomas Moore said, was very amiable at the coalition’s convention banquet – the coalition chose Baxley because “we felt that her coat-tails would be more fertile down the ballot,” Moore said.

Siegelman, still on trial for corruption, is polling close on Baxley’s heels. But if the jury in his case comes back with a guilty verdict, Siegelman the nominee would be unlikely to attract votes.

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Locally, the Marengo County Chapter demurred from making an endorsment in two key races: Sheriff and County Commissioner District One.

For sheriff, Moore said the coalition “couldn’t come to a consensus” between current Sheriff Jesse Langley and his opponent, deputy Richard Bates.

For County Commission District One, Moore added, the presence of two coalition members – Commissioner Freddie Armstead and Willard Williams – made the decision to not endorse much easier than choosing between two friends, he said.

Former Demopolis Councilman The Rev. Mitchell Congress is also running for County Commission District One.

For Commission District Three, the coalition endorsed the incumbent, John Crawford.

In Commission District Five, the coalition endorsed

Thomas E. Rodgers, because his opponent, Jerry Loftin, did not attend the voters’ forum they hosted at Majo’s in April, Moore said.

For Marengo County School Board District One, the coalition endorsed Ernestine E. Wright over Freddie Charleston.

The coalition also gave its seal of approval to State Sen. Bobby Singleton over dark horse challenger Elijah Rollins III.