Riley Announces Plan to Seek Re-Election

Governor Riley kicked off his re-election campaign Saturday with talk of a stronger economy, a trimmer state government and his religious faith.

Riley asked about 500 supporters in Birmingham whether Alabama is better off than it was three years ago, and they responded with chants of "four more years."

Riley recalled that when he was elected in 2002, the state's economy was in a slump and state government was facing its largest deficit since the Great Depression. Now he says unemployment is down to 3.08 percent and the state just finished its fiscal year with a record budget surplus.

He also said state government has two thousand fewer employees than when he took office.

Riley will face ousted Chief Justice Roy Moore in the Republican primary in June. Moore said Saturday that Riley's announcement presents voters with a clear choice about the future of Alabama.

Moore said his plan would return Alabama to the people and take away power from special interests.

Riley did not mention Moore in his kickoff speech. But he told supporters that it's sad when some people say they can no longer acknowledge God in government.

Riley said he acknowledges God every day in speeches and meetings. Riley also said that while he frequently mentions his faith in public, he would never use it for political purposes.

Alabama Associated Press