MONTGOMERY, AL - Democrat nominee for governor Ron Sparks called for bi-partisan approaches and cooperation to solve Alabama's growing economic and education problems, saying it will take a united Alabama to defeat an 11 percent unemployment rate, dwindling state revenues and the greatest environmental disaster in the history of the state.
Sparks called for two actions Wednesday. First, he asked Alabama Attorney General Troy King to brief both gubernatorial nominees on the state's legal options and strategies concerning the BP oil spill devastating the Alabama coast and its economy.
Second, Sparks asked Republican gubernatorial nominee Robert Bentley to join him in pledging to run a positive campaign during the general election, one that will refrain from negative personal attack by and upon the candidates.
Republican nominee Dr. Robert Bentley made the pledge to keep his campaign clean Tuesday night after winning the nomination over Bradley Byrne.
"The voters of this state are looking for leadership," Sparks said. "The people of Alabama are tired of personal attacks and partisan politics. They want to know where candidates stand on the issues and their plans to help the working families of this state. They are hiring us to do a job, not to fight with each other or play politics.
"This election should be about the voters, not personal attacks by the candidates, and that is exactly the kind of race I will run," he said.
Sparks pointed to a struggling economy, underfunded schools and the BP oil spill devastating the coast as challenges that require all political leaders to come together, set aside partisan politics, and address immediately. "Leaders in the state need to work together like never before. The only way we can begin to fix our problems and get Alabama back to work is to join together to create solutions," he said.
To that end, Sparks asked Bentley to take a no negative campaigning pledge with him as they go into November. "I ask Rep. Bentley to join me in a no negative campaigning pledge so we can focus on the issues at hand and people of this state. They deserve no less. Alabama families need to be the focus of this campaign, not personal attacks on each other."
Sparks also reached out to Attorney General Troy King, asking him to brief both candidates about the state's options regarding BP. "The next governor of Alabama will be responsible for the mess left behind by BP. BP must understand that defending our rights and our environment goes beyond partisan politics and the election in November. They must know that the state's leaders stand united and firm in the face of the legal fights that will soon follow."