In the end, the fight just wasn’t worth it

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 21, 2002

During the 2002 Alabama governor’s race, Bob Riley portrayed Gov. Don Siegelman as a man without ethics.

Riley insisted that we needed to clean up our act in Montgomery and that another Siegelman administration would lead to more shady deals and ethics lapses. We’ll never know if Riley’s predictions were on target, because Riley will be our next governor and Siegelman won’t get another four years.

We realize Don Siegelman was too close to some questionable situations in Montgomery. Those situations may have cost Siegelman an election. In a race as close as this year’s governor’s race, many factors could have affected the final outcome.

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But what we can say about Siegelman is that he did the right thing on Monday when he conceded the election. Siegelman chose not to put Alabama through the ugly process of a contested election.

Thank you, governor.

Siegelman chose to be the bigger person and that’s usually the hardest thing to do when two people are engaged in conflict. It comes natural for us to want to lower our shoulder and try to plow over our opponent when faced with opposition.

The problem with this conflict is that many stood to get hurt while the two politicians slugged it out.

What Siegelman chose to do was to step aside and let Riley charge ahead to the governor’s mansion. It was probably one of the hardest decisions Siegelman has ever made. He had to wonder what would be the results of a recount of the votes, but at the same time he had to wonder what would happen to his state in order to get that recount.

In the end, he decided the fight wasn’t worth it. Our state has enough obstacles to overcome, enough hurdles to clear, and we don’t need our leaders to create more.

Don Siegelman did what was right Monday and we thank him for letting Alabama move forward.