The TimesDaily recommends the following candidates for statewide office in the contested races in Tuesday’s general election:
The race for lieutenant governor pits pastor and Democratic party activist Will Boyd against a businessman and Republican state House member Will Ainsworth.
The first priority of the lieutenant governor is to see to it the state Senate runs effectively. Given the Legislature will remain in Republican hands after Tuesday and Ainsworth’s experience in the House, he is best positioned to deliver that.
The TimesDaily recommends Will Ainsworth for lieutenant governor.
Alabama has long been plagued by political corruption, but the past several years have seen it become epidemic, with several top state leaders forced from office after criminal convictions.
Democratic candidate Joseph Siegelman is the son of former Gov. Don Siegelman, who lost re-election while under federal investigation and subsequently was convicted of corruption charges and sentenced to seven years in prison.
Republican incumbent Steve Marshall was appointed attorney general by the soon-to-be-removed Gov. Bentley.
What Alabama most needs is an attorney general who will continue rooting out corruption. We do not believe in visiting the sins of the father on the son, and the younger Siegelman gives the state the better chance at a fresh start.
The TimesDaily recommends Joseph Siegelman for attorney general.
Chief justice of the Supreme Court
No other race offers so clear a choice. Six former Alabama Supreme Court justices, including three Republicans, have endorsed Democratic Judge Robert Vance Jr. in the race for chief justice.
Republican Tom Parker, already an associate justice on the court, has one claim to fame: He was an ally of disgraced former Chief Justice Roy Moore. More ideologue than jurist, Parker has never possessed the knowledge or temperament to sit on the state’s highest court.
Vance, a circuit judge in Jefferson County for the past 16 years, has both, as well as experience as a working judge, and not as an activist rewriting law from the bench to suit his political beliefs.
The TimesDaily recommends Robert Vance for Alabama Supreme Court chief justice.
Associate justice of the Supreme Court, Place No. 4
This race pits Birmingham attorney Jay Mitchell, the Republican candidate, against Donna Wesson Smalley, a Jasper attorney, for an open seat on the court.
Smalley — a female Democrat from a small town — would bring some needed balance to the state Supreme Court. She also brings 40 years of experience in domestic relations, an area of law too often ignored when it comes to candidates for the state’s high court.
The TimesDaily recommends Donna Wesson Smalley for state Supreme Court, Place No. 4.
Secretary of state
As the state’s top election official, the secretary of state is in a position to help see to it that not only is the state’s election infrastructure secure but that voters don’t face roadblocks registering to vote or casting their ballots.
John H. Merrill, the Republican incumbent, has opposed policies such as early voting, that would make casting a ballot easier for Alabamians. His Democratic challenger, Heather Milam, supports policies that will make voting easier. When deciding for whom to vote, perhaps the first question to ask is which candidate isn’t afraid for more people to vote.
The TimesDaily recommends Heather Milam for secretary of state.
Republican incumbent Jim Zeigler has spent his term of office filing frivolous lawsuits, holding bizarre press conferences and pretending he is attorney general. Alabama needs an auditor who remembers they are an auditor.
The TimesDaily recommends Democratic challenger Miranda Karrine Joseph.