Ron Sparks surges in polls as Nov. 2 election nears


Ron Sparks
Recent statewide polls commissioned by the state’s major newspapers show Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ron Sparks closing the gap on Republican Dr. Robert Bentley.
The poll which was taken over the period October 6-21, shows that Bentley leads with 45% to 36% for Sparks and 19% undecided. “Bentley had a 20 point lead in the early polling and dropped to a 9 point lead in the final week. “That is pretty significant,” said pollster Keith Nicholls of the USA Polling Group. “ If that trend continues, it could cost Bentley the election.”
The same statewide polls show Lt. Gov. Jim Folsom, a Democrat, held 43% of the vote in his bid for reelection against Kay Ivey with 36%. Republican Luther Strange leads Democrat James Anderson 47% to 33% in the race for state Attorney General. All of the races are tightening in the final days leading up to the election.
The poll showed dramatic declines for Bentley after news stories started circulating that he received campaign contributions and robo call support from the Alabama Education Association, the state teacher’s union and longtime supporter of the state Democratic Party.
A news release today confirmed that Troy King, State Attorney General, ruled on a portion of the complaint filed by Jimmy Blake that Bentley violated campaign finance laws in accepting illegal contributions from corporations in his campaign. King has directed Bentley to return the illegal contributions and amend his campaign finance reports. King did not rule on the larger portion of Blake’s complaint that Dr. Bentley should be barred from certification as Governor.
“The Attorney General’s Office has found that Robert Bentley broke the law. He took not just one illegal contribution, but six,” Blake said.
“ A positive finding on this violation is evidence that my entire complaint is valid and that Robert Bentley should be barred from even running for Governor.”
“Telling Bentley he now has to give the money back and change his reports is a little like telling a bank robber after he is caught that he just has to return the money,” Blake said. “Robert Bentley has admitted that he took large contributions from AEA during the primary, lied about it to the public, and only reported it after he was caught. This man is a habitual liar and has no respect for the law.”
Sparks continues to campaign statewide on his plan for a lottery and the taxing and regulating of electronic bingo to bring in new revenues for the state to help pay for educational budget shortfalls. Dr. Bentley has offered no concrete plans to deal with the state?s economic crisis.
Sparks says that he support?s President Obama’s health care reforms and will present proposals to the legislature to prepare the state to enact sections of the law which will extend health insurance coverage to many more Alabamians. Dr. Bentley says he opposes “Obamacare” and will fight its implementation in the courts.
Sparks who has eight year’s statewide administrative experience as Agriculture Commissioner has a more solid and progressive plan to take Alabama into the future according to the Alabama New South Coalition and other statewide progressive organizations.
Voters in Greene County who are disturbed by Governor Riley’s bingo raid, closing and destruction of over 300 jobs at Greenetrack are likely to give Sparks a strong vote in the county. Greene County voters are calling their friends in other counties to urge them to vote for Sparks, Folsom and other Democratic candidates on the ballot according to local political observers.
In addition to the Governor’s race, all major statewide offices, two seats on the Alabama Supreme Court, the entire Legislature, a U. S. Senator, U. S. Congressperson and local offices will be on the ballot. Most local offices in Greene County have Democratic candidates who are unopposed and thus likely to be elected.
In the 7th District Congressional race, Democratic candidate Terri Sewell is looking forward to becoming the first Black female elected to Congress from Alabama. She has a strong lead in the overwhelmingly Black district over Don Chamberlain, her Republican challenger.
The Greene County ANSC Chapter is urging voters to cast a straight
Democratic ticket to help elect more progressive candidates up and down the ballot. If you need a ride to the polls, call 1-866-877-4077 or 372-0525 in Greene County.

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