King has misspent his time in the AG’s office, feuding openly with the governor, trading in perks that create an appearance of impropriety, grandstanding against disfavored district attorneys and generally placing a highly ideological imprint on an office dedicated to equal justice.
Strange, whose 2006 bid to become lieutenant governor failed, promises to restore the office of attorney general to a better posture.
The Star recommends Luther Strange.
Democrat: Michel Nicrosi spent 16 years as a federal prosecutor. This experience places Nicrosi above her Democratic challengers. The Montgomery native knows how to manage prosecutions of wrongdoers.
Alabama could use an attorney general like Nicrosi, a no-frills, competent manager sitting in the office of the state’s highest law enforcer. She promises to re-establish lines of communication with the state’s law enforcement infrastructure and to put a less partisan sheen on the job, the things federal prosecutors are scrupulously known for.
Nicrosi promises to use the bully pulpit of the AG’s office to call out wrongdoing, particularly in the area of open government.
The Star recommends Michel Nicrosi.
Treasurer Republican: In the wake of the Prepaid Affordable College Tuition crisis, it’s a safe bet that voters will focus hard on the best qualified candidate to serve as state treasurer, the position charged with oversight over the troubled savings program.
Not that PACT, whose problems the state Legislature attempted to correct in the most recently completed session, is the treasurer’s sole job. The office is responsible for $112 million that on average moves through it daily.
Young Boozer is a retired bank executive from Montgomery who has sunk hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own fortune into the campaign.
His rival is a familiar name in Alabama, George Wallace Jr., a veteran of this state’s politics. Wallace was treasurer for two terms in the 1980s and 1990s.
Besides his real-world experience in the financial sector, Boozer’s appeal is his newcomer’s approach to addressing the PACT crisis and the other day-to-day operations of the office.
The Star recommends Young Boozer.
Democrat: The conversation on the other side of the race for treasurer also can be summed up by the same four little letters: P-A-C-T.
Charley Grimsley is a retired banker from west Alabama. His advocacy on behalf of the group Save Alabama PACT is credited with ushering through the Legislature’s rescue plan.
Jeremy Sherer is an attorney and one-time adviser to U.S. Rep. Artur Davis, D-Birmingham. He is committed to constitutional reform and has served on the governor’s Blackbelt Action Commission.
Both candidates own impressive resumes. We are more impressed by Sherer’s commitment to Alabama community banks, his advocacy on behalf of open and transparent government and his willingness to bring a fresh approach to the job of treasurer.
The Star recommends Jeremy Sherer.
Commissioner of Agriculture Republican: In an era where food-borne disease outbreaks can sweep through the nation, an out-of-control oil spill can threaten the livelihood of Alabama fishermen, and awareness of what’s in our food is growing in importance, the job of commissioner of the state Department of Agriculture and Industries is taking on new roles.
The next commissioner will have to meet the bar set by Ron Sparks, the two-term head of the department who is running for the Democratic nomination for governor.
Glen Zorn is the lone Democrat seeking the position. Three Republicans are vying for the GOP nomination — Dorman Grace, John McMillan and Dale Peterson, the candidate with the outrageous campaign ad sweeping the nation via YouTube.
Grace, a third-generation farmer from Jasper, has the recognition from his peers and public service bona fides as an appointee to the Department of Agriculture and Industries Board.
The Star recommends Dorman Grace.
State Supreme Court Republican, Place 2: Unseating incumbent Michael F. “Mike” Bolin represents a difficult task for challenger Tracy W. Cary, a Dothan attorney.
Bolin, a former probate judge from Jefferson County, is seeking a second term on the state’s highest court. His wide experience as a lawyer and a trial judge, plus a commendable record during his first go-around on the Supreme Court, makes him a wise choice for the nomination to oppose Democrat Tom Edwards of Montgomery.
The Star recommends Michael F. “Mike” Bolin.
Republican, Place 3: GOP voters would be smart to select someone other than incumbent Tom Parker, whose ultra-conservative ideology and backlog of cases is a detriment to the court.
The best option is Birmingham lawyer Eric Johnston, though James R. Houts, the chief assistant district attorney for the 19th Judicial District of Alabama and a former associate attorney general under Bill Pryor and Troy King, offers a strong alternative choice.
Johnston’s sound reputation in the Jefferson County courts, and his founding of the conservative Southeast Law Institute, which provides free legal and educational service on religious-based cases, makes him a worthy selection to oppose Democrat Mac Parsons of Bessemer.
The Star recommends Eric Johnston.