Alabama's Republican leaders remembered President Ronald Reagan, who died Sunday at age 93 after years of battling Alzheimer's disease, for encouraging many Democrats to embrace the GOP Party more than two decades ago.
Governor Riley, in a statement said "Ronald Reagan will forever stand as one of the greatest presidents this nation has ever known. His visionary leadership and optimistic spirit leave a lasting legacy for his party, his country and the world."
Riley ordered all flags on state office buildings lowered to half-staff in honor of Reagan's death. The White House set the national mourning period for 30 days starting Sunday.
Between 1981 and 1989, Reagan reshaped the Republican Party in his conservative image, focused on breaking the Soviet Union and Eastern European communism and tripled the national debt to $3 trillion in his competition with the other superpower.
State GOP Party Chairman Marty Connors and Senator Richard Shelby said Reagan would be long remembered for winning the Cold War, an accomplishment that gave the Republican Party even more confidence in its leadership. Senator Jeff Sessions said Reagan inspired an entire generation.