Alabama's 2010 Governor election is quickly approaching. With Governor Riley leaving office, Democrats hope for a spot in the Governor's house. However, noting Alabama's conservative background, this won't be an easy task. But if we hope to see a Democrat in the top seat of Alabama, a little bit of voter knowledge is where we begin.
Artur Davis was re-elected in 2008 to his fourth term representing Alabama's Seventh Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Further, he serves on the Ways and Means Committee, only the tenth Alabamian to do so.
Davis has many progressive ideas for restoring Alabama's schools and industries. According to his website, ArturDavis2010.com, he will focus on creating new jobs in industries like alternative energy, bio-medicine and information technology. Further, while drawing new industry into the state, Davis will expand the Alabama Development Office to develop strategies for assisting and maintaining companies on the brink of closing their operations in Alabama.
When it comes to education,Davis will focus on programs in early childhood development, specifically pre-kindergarten, after-school and character education programs. To combat Alabama's rising drop-out rate, Davis hopes to raise the mandatory attendance age to 18 and have a no-exception policy on driver's license suspensions for drop-outs. To ensure Alabama's youth have a chance at 21st Century jobs, Davis will renew the state's commitment to math and science.
When it comes to ethics reform, Davis has big ideas. Imposing gift bans on lobbyists, conflict of interest rules and capping campaign contributions are just some of his plans for restoring Alabamian's faith in government. Further, he supports a constitutional convention, and public vote, to upgrade Alabama's constitution.
Along with information on his campaign, Davis' site also has a place for slants against candidate Ron Sparks including his "flip-flopping" on issues and one press release claiming he "believes in nothing".
Ron Sparks is now in his second term as Alabama's Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries. A Fort Payne native, Sparks was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard where he served on the Honor Guard and Search and Rescue.
Sparks was quoted, by the Huntsville Times, as saying "Hear me loud and clear, I support health care reform and a public option" at a Madison County Democratic Women's Division luncheon.
According to the article, Sparks also supports an education lottery and gaming tax to pay for pre-kindergarten and college scholarships, opposes charter schools and supports the president's stimulus package which he says saved the state's Medicaid program.
Spark's also weighed in on electronic-gambling, one of the hot issues in Alabama right now. On his site, Sparks2010.com, he says 10% of Mississippi gambling money comes from Alabama. Sparks claims that, as many Alabamians enjoy gambling halls, gambling should be regulated and taxed and each county's voters allowed to decide it's fate.
Sparks also proposes $400 million immediately be dedicated to the construction and repair of state bridges and roadways in addition to the $100 million proposed in the legislative plan.
Spark's site also has an area for press releases but, of the ones seen, there were no disparate comments about Davis or his campaign.
Another lesser known Democratic candidate is Florence inventor Sam Franklin Thomas. According to a March 2009 article in the Huntsville Times, Franklin has worked in areas across the board including teaching and accounting. But, most notably, he claims to have invented more than 100,000 products.
The 2010 election will certainly be a riveting one. With several Republican candidates stepping up to the plate, it's anybody's guess whether our next state leader will again be a Democrat. For now, we can only watch and hope.