Ten Commandments judge loses Alabama race

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2 MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Republican Gov. Bob Riley handily defeated ousted Ten Commandments judge Roy Moore in Tuesday’s primary for governor and will face Democratic Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley, who trounced a former governor who spent Election Day standing trial on bribery charges. With most precincts reporting, Riley had a commanding lead over former state Chief Justice Roy Moore. Baxley also held a strong lead over former Gov. Don Siegelman. “God’s will has been done,” Moore told supporters in Gadsden. Since May 1, Siegelman, 60, has been on trial on charges of racketeering, conspiracy, bribery and obstruction of justice during his terms as governor and lieutenant governor. wins N.J. primary TRENTON, N.J. – Republican Tom Kean Jr., aiming for Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez’s job, cruised to victory Tuesday in a primary race he had been under pressure to win decisively. With most precincts reporting, the son of former Gov. Tom Kean had an overwhelming lead over John Ginty. Ginty was put up as a candidate by conservatives who don’t like the younger Kean’s support for abortion rights and embryonic stem-cell research. Some observers have said that if Ginty garners a big chunk of the vote it could dampen Kean’s prospects. Kean has been viewed the GOP’s best Senate hope in years in a state that has not elected a Republican to that body since 1972. Menendez was appointed in January by Gov. Jon Corzine to serve out the remaining year of Corzine’s Senate term. He handily defeated his primary opponent, James D. Kelly Jr., who lives in a group home for the mentally ill. Gay marriage ban passes in Ala. MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a measure banning gay marriage, making Alabama the 20th state to amend its constitution to keep same-sex couples from the altar. With most precincts reporting, the amendment was favored by more than 80 percent of the voters. Supporters of the amendment were confident of easy passage, with a chief legislative sponsor predicting approval by as many as 75 percent of voters. Critics, included gay-rights groups and the American Civil Liberties Union, said the measure was unnecessary because Alabama already has a law prohibiting same-sex marriage. They also suggested the amendment could lead to court rulings against common-law marriages among heterosexuals since it defines marriage as a “solemnized” union. Supporters said nothing in the amendment would outlaw common-law marriage. Forty-five states, including Alabama, have specifically barred same-sex marriage through statutes or constitutional amendments. Massachusetts is the only state that allows gay marriage, although Vermont and Connecticut allow same-sex civil unions that confer the same legal rights heterosexual married couples get. On Monday, the U.S. Senate began debate on a proposed federal amendment to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. State Sen. leader ahead in Mont. HELENA, Mont. – State Senate President Jon Tester had a big lead over state Auditor John Morrison in early returns of the Democratic U.S. Senate primary Tuesday, a race in which the winner will try to take advantage of GOP Sen. Conrad Burns’ ties to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Burns was challenged within his own party by several candidates, but had a substantial lead. Morrison, the son of former Supreme Court Justice Frank Morrison Jr., took a political hit with recent news stories about his handling of a securities investigation close to a woman with whom he once had an affair. Tester, a 49-year-old Big Sandy farmer, has said he is best able to take on Burns on the issue of ethics. Burns, 71, has been drawing some of his lowest approval ratings since he was first elected in 1988 but has chalked up criticism to the “Eastern liberal press.” The senator received about $150,000 in donations from Abramoff, his clients and his associates, which he has since returned or given to charity. In addition, some of Burns’ former aides worked for Abramoff and two current aides took a trip to the 2001 Super Bowl in the lobbyist’s jet. Three-way Iowa race razor close DES MOINES, Iowa – Secretary of State Chet Culver was leading a three-way race Tuesday in the Democratic primary for a chance at succeeding Democratic Gov. Tom Vilsack. With most precincts reporting, Culver was in the lead, with former legislator and congrssman Mike Blouin following close behind. State Rep. Ed Fallon was trailing. If no candidate gets 35 percent of the vote, a nominee will be picked at the State Democratic Convention June 17. U.S. Rep. Jim Nussle was the only candidate for the GOP nomination. Vilsack, mentioned as a possible 2008 presidential candidate, is stepping down after two terms. Holocaust denier close to Dem win MONTGOMERY, Ala. – A Democratic candidate for attorney general who denies the Holocaust occurred and holds white supremacist views was within striking distance of a prosecutor in Tuesday’s primary. With most precincts reporting, Larry Darby was trailing, but within a few percentage points of Mobile County District Attorney John Tyson. Party officials learned late in the campaign that Darby, the founder of the Atheist Law Center, was a Holocaust denier, and that he recently gave a speech in New Jersey to a white supremacist group. They said they could not remove him from the ballot because absentee ballots had already been sent. The Republican incumbent, Troy King, won his primary in a landslide. Wallace Jr. trails `Big Luther’ MONTGOMERY, Ala. – George Wallace Jr., the son of former Gov. George C. Wallace, was trailing Luther Strange on Tuesday for the Republican primary election for lieutenant governor, a race that pitted Wallace’s name recognition against his rival’s business-backed fundraising firepower. With most precincts reporting, Strange, a Birmingham attorney, was leading Wallace. As the son of the fiery four-term governor and one-time segregationist, Wallace grew up in the political limelight. He served two terms as state treasurer and is in his second term on the Public Service Commission, but he trailed Strange in campaign fundraising as the political newcomer drew on the support of business interests. Strange, 53, a former Tulane basketball player, poked fun at his 6-foot-9 frame in television ads that referred to him as “Big Luther.” The winner of the Republican Primary faces Democratic former Gov. Jim Folsom Jr. in the November general election. Voters keep Ala. court traditional MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Voters picking five of the nine members of the Alabama Supreme Court rejected four candidates who have challenged a tenet of American jurisprudence that dates to the early 1800s. Associate Justice Tom Parker, Opelika lawyer Ben Hand, Birmingham attorney Alan Zeigler and Hank Fowler, a staff attorney for Parker, all argued that state courts need not adhere to precedents set by the U.S. Supreme Court. All had challenged incumbents, with Parker seeking Chief Justice Drayton Nabers Jr.’s seat. With most precincts reporting, Nabers was leading Parker by a large margin. Hand, Zeigler and Fowler lost by similar or worse margins. Parker contends that every officeholder has a personal duty to decide what is constitutional and shouldn’t be bound by Supreme Court decisions. Nabers rejected Parker’s legal theories as “bizarre” and law professors said they would create chaos in America’s courts. The court, currently all Republican, is certain to remain in Republican hands this year since Democrats are seeking only four seats. No Democratic primaries were contested. Espy legacy likely to end in Miss. JACKSON, Miss. – Chuck Espy, nephew of former Rep. Mike Espy, lost Tuesday in his bid to oust six-term Rep. Bennie Thompson in the Democratic primary. In 1993, Thompson captured the seat that Mike Espy left to become President Clinton’s secretary of Agriculture. In 1986, Espy became Mississippi’s first black congressman since Reconstruction. Chuck Espy contends that Thompson hasn’t delivered for his district, either by creating jobs or working to end poverty. Thompson criticizes Espy for taking campaign donations from people who have traditionally supported Republicans.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img Baxley, 68, rarely mentioned his trial but noted that there had been no scandals during her years in public office. “We care about ethics in our state,” she said Tuesday night. In conceding, Siegelman said the trial hurt his campaign, but he predicted he will be cleared and will remain involved in politics. Riley, 61, said voters were swayed by the state’s organized response to hurricanes Katrina and Ivan, an income tax cut for low-income workers and a lack of corruption in his administration. His $5.5 million campaign chest was more than double the amount raised by all other gubernatorial candidates combined. Moore, 59, was making his first race for public office since a state judicial court ousted him as Alabama’s chief justice in 2003, but his campaign failed to gain traction. Moore was removed after he refused to abide by a federal judge’s order to remove his 5,300-pound Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of the state judicial building. Kean Jr. handily last_img