A Republican challenger rises: Peeking at the platform of ‘gun-toting’ GOP candidate
by The Anniston Star Editorial Board
Apr 19, 2013 | 3970 views |  0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
That Gov. Robert Bentley will have opposition in next year’s Republican primary is not a complete surprise. Rumblings have been heard in GOP ranks almost since he took office in 2011. Some have come from the Bradley Byrne camp — those who felt their man was defeated in 2010 not by Bentley but by the infusion of special-interest money, especially from the Alabama Education Association.

However, others in the party fear that Bentley is so unpopular that if Democrats come up with a strong alternative, the governor would be defeated and take Republican office-holders with him.

Apparently, this latter group found its candidate (or, at least, a candidate) in Stacy Lee George of Morgan County. Although George has little name recognition outside of north Alabama, he feels he can do what his mentor, the late Gov. Guy Hunt, did when he came from nowhere to become governor.

With Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey and House Speaker Mike Hubbard announcing they will not run for the state’s top job, George has thrown his hat into the ring.

His platform, if it can be called that this early in the election season, might be surprising. For example, he does not favor the GOP plan to give tax credits to people who chose to send their children to private schools instead of “failing” public schools. This, he contends, will hurt public schools, adding, “I’m going to prove that every Republican in Alabama is not against public education.”

In what might be a dig at the way the tax credit plan was passed, he said he favors making it a felony to violate the state’s open-meeting law. “If you can’t do it in the light, you don’t need to do it,” he told the Associated Press.

He also favors a lottery with the proceeds going to public schools, something that has not been high on the GOP wish-list.

However, George follows the party line and then some when it comes to Second Amendment rights. He has a pistol permit, often carries a weapon and would like to be known as “the gun-toting governor.”

Considering all these positions to be positive, George figures the only thing voters might consider a negative are his four marriages. Yet, when one considers that Alabama had the third-highest divorce rate in 2011 for men and the fourth highest for women, such a concern may not materialize.

If nothing else, with Stacy Lee George in the race the primary season should make for good copy.
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