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Hartselle Enquirer

Riley's journey could be a movie

By Staff
Bob Ingram, Alabama Scene
MONTGOMERY–One of the most remarkable chapters of Alabama political history will be culminated shortly after noon Monday when Bob Riley places his left hand on an open bible, raises his right hand, and takes the oath of office as governor of Alabama.
Be sure the bible will be opened to Isaiah 9: 6-7 which includes the phrase that "the government shall be on his shoulder" and concludes with the prophecy that "the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end."
How Bob Riley reached that place on the inaugural platform is hard to imagine. Two years ago not more than one in a 100 of you had ever heard of Riley. He was the least known member of Alabama's congressional delegation, and worse, he represented a rural district in East Alabama which included no major metropolitan area…no big city newspapers and TV stations to tout his accomplishments.
There was nothing to suggest he could be even a serious threat in a race for governor, and the idea he could unseat a battle-tested political veteran, incumbent Gov. Don Siegelman, was unthinkable.
Riley proceeded to prove all the doubters wrong…he won the GOP nomination in a runaway, and then in the closest general election in history, he sent Siegelman limping to Buck's Pocket.
It is the sort of story which if you wrote for a movie script would be turned down for being unbelievable.
But once the pomp and circumstance of the inauguration is over, the hard part for Riley begins. Only then will we know if he can fulfill that prophecy from Isaiah 9:7. He will need all the divine help he can get.
Ford's switch will have little or no impact on the balance of power in the House of Representatives where Democrats hold an overwhelming majority.
Ford, who served as mayor of Tuskegee for 20 years before being elected to the Legislature, says it was his admiration and respect for Gov.-elect Bob Riley that motivated him to change his party affiliation.
Dr. Muse, now president of East Carolina University, was viewed by a lot of Auburn faithful as one of the top Auburn presidents in decades.
The way he was sent packing from the Plains left a bad taste in the mouths of many War Eagles.
Houston County (Dothan) will observe its 100th birthday on Feb. 3.
Nothing elaborate is planned on the day but I am told a series of events will be held during the year commemorating the centennial.
Houston is by far the youngest county in the state. It is 33 years younger than Cullman, which was established in 1877.
Another distinction for this county: It is but the second to be named for a former governor of Alabama…George S. Houston. He was honored because his election to office in 1874 signaled the end of the Reconstruction Era in Alabama.
And before you ask, the only other Alabama governor to have a county named for him was John Winston…and his claim to fame was that he was the first native-born Alabamian to be elected governor of this state.
End of Alabama history lecture. There will be a test next week.