Many good choices this election year

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 25, 2002

Sometimes the choice for a candidate is clear. More often than not, however, we find ourselves having to choose the lesser of two evils and fighting the temptation to scrawl "none of the above" across the bottom of a write-in ballot.

In some races, however, the choice is especially difficult because both candidates have much to offer their constituents.

So it is with three races this year.

In the Senate race, we have the incumbent, Republican Jeff Sessions, facing off against

Democrat Susan Parker. Sessions has proven to be an asset to Alabama and the nation, working to strengthen the military, create jobs, lure industry, and reform education and Medicare. In his freshman term as Senator, he has worked hard and accomplished much. Parker, as the State Auditor, has garnered experience in financial management on a large scale, and her determination to prevent the privatization of Social Security, protecting it from the dangerous vagaries of the stock market is commendable. But it is her background in education that prompts our endorsement. The key to Alabama's future is education, an area in which Alabama has shown poorly throughout history. The better educated the citizens, the better the chances to lure industry, better jobs, and a higher standard of living. And while we find Sessions' dedication to reforming special education regulations worthy of special recognition, Parker's approach encompasses the entire Alabama education system.

In the lieutenant governor's race, Republican Bill Armistead, a state senator, and Democrat Lucy Baxley offer another difficult choice. Like Parker, Baxley has worked with financial management, as State Treasurer in her case, and she has worked hard for education, and the establishment of a Prepaid College Tuition (PACT). But Armistead, our choice as candidate, offers something else that this state needs – to be operated as a business. A businessman for 30 years, Armistead recognizes the fact that all bureaucracy is top heavy in too many areas, and taking a businessman's approach, he has vowed to eliminate the deadwood, spreading those resources to areas where they are needed more, in schools and in law enforcement.

Both candidates for the treasurer's office have much to offer Alabama. Kay Ivey, with 10 years of banking experience and more years spent in higher education, is well -qualified for the position, especially in light of her work with industrial development. But Stephen Black is an example of something Alabama needs desperately – a young, energetic, driven professional with new ideas for making the office better run and more efficient.

Only one candidate in each of these races will win on November 5 – but every resident of Alabama will be a winner. For once, we get to choose between the better of two good candidates, not the lesser of two evils.

No matter what our endorsement is, or anyone else, we cannot stress enough the importance of your vote.

Get out. Vote.