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Siegelman is right choice for Black Belt

The time is nearing for us to choose a governor.

There are two candidates on the ballot capable of winning the election: Bob Riley and incumbent Don Siegelman. Of the two, we support Siegelman.

Siegelman’s commitment and ties to the Black Belt region are reasons why we favor him over Riley. Siegelman has given our area more attention and concern than previous governors. He views our part of the state as an opportunity for growth and development instead of a liability.

Our local leaders &045; Probate Judge Johnny Jones, Mayor James Perkins Jr., and Senator Hank Sanders &045; have close ties with Siegleman. If Siegelman is not re-elected, these ties are lost, and at best, would have to be rebuilt over time with Riley. We need our relationship with Siegelman to continue.

We have not agreed with everything Siegelman has done over the past three and half years. If he is re-elected, he must work hard to surround himself with better people and people that meet the highest standards of ethics and honesty. He must also be more careful in how he deals with friends and supporters.

Siegelman has worked very hard to bring jobs to this state and we like what he has done in this area. Hyundai’s announcement that it would build a manufacturing plant 50 miles from Selma was the biggest economic news we have received in years. Siegleman and staff worked hard and outmaneuvered other states to deliver the Hyundai prize.

The state put together an attractive incentive package that was critical to luring Hyundai. That package was possible because of Siegelman’s close ties with our local leaders and other leaders in the region.

When it comes to attracting industry, Siegelman has shown he knows how to play the game. This is important during a time with jobs can be moved overseas or can come to us from overseas.

On a local level, Siegelman’s efforts have helped American Apparel expand, establish a job training center here, and helped us upgrade Craig Field. Siegelman has shown time and again that he is committed to helping our region.

His work in education has not been as productive as his economic development efforts. But we think his education plan will begin to show results if he is given another term, and we like where he stands on this issue.

Again, our support in this election goes to Don Siegelman and it goes without reservation.