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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Republican legislator will run against Sen. Poole

Republican state Rep. Gerald Allen of Cottondale announced Tuesday that he will run for the Alabama Senate in 2010 to try to remove from office the one man many have considered one of the biggest obstacles to progress in the state Legislature in recent years.
Allen, who was elected to the Legislature in 1994, said he will run for state Senate District 21 against Democrat Sen. Phil Poole.
Republicans and Democrats, including House Speaker Seth Hammett, have criticized Poole for locking down the Senate and blocking most Republican bills from the House of Representatives.
Poole has been unhappy that Gov. Bob Riley vetoed funding for a highway project from the General Fund budget at the end of the 2007 session. The line item was the only money Riley sliced from the budget. Poole, an attorney, has sought to kill bills from Republican House members that he believes helped keep Democrats from reinstating the money on the last day of the 2007 legislative session.
The senator, who has been a member of the Legislature since 1982, stalled during the 2009 session because he said members of the Democratic leadership interfered with a local bill.
Allen is considered one of the more conservative members of the Alabama House, pushing to stop same-sex marriage, introducing a bill to move property appraisals to every four years, and requiring photo identification to vote. Some of his bills have met stiff resistance from the Legislature, which is controlled by Democrats.
After several years of trying, the Legislature did pass a bill sponsored by Allen that would create a state boxing commission to encourage fights in Alabama, allowing local talent to fight here and to attract tourism dollars.
Allen, the owner of CASCHO Marketing, currently represents the southern part of Tuscaloosa County and the northern part of Hale County in the Alabama House.
District 21 includes Pickens County, parts of Hale County and the southern portion of Tuscaloosa County.
The Tuscaloosa News reported that Allen said he wanted to be part of a movement of Republicans who take control of the Legislature in Alabama for the first time since Reconstruction.

-- posted by Sebastian Kitchen

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Location: Montgomery, AL, United States

South Union Street is the blog of Montgomery Advertiser political reporters Markeshia Ricks and Sebastian Kitchen. Always check here for the latest on the Legislature, elections and other activities and players in Alabama.

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