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Chip Drago
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The Political Round-Up

Byrne backers sidetracked; Figures appeals;
Rove a rainmaker; Bracey rally; Gulf ablaze;
Animal rescuers brace;

By Chip Drago
Mobile Bay Times
A press conference set here this afternoon to announce a number of area elected leaders' endorsement of GOP gubernatorial candidate Bradley Byrne has been postponed.

State and local elected officials were set today to announce their endorsement of Byrne at 4 p.m. at the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center in downtown Mobile.

Among those planning to publically endorse Byrne are former U.S. Congressman Jack Edwards, Sen. Ben Brooks, Rep. Jamie Ison, Rep. Chad Fincher, Rep. Victor Gaston, Rep. Jim Barton, Mobile City Councilman John Williams and Mobile City Councilwoman Connie Hudson.

Although the Byrne campaign did not give a reason for the cancellation, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has juggled the schedules of many elected officials along the Gulf Coast.

RaShawn Figures appeal set
A State Democratic Party committee will convene at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 4 at party headquarters in Montgomery to hear RaShawn Figures' appeal of his disqualification as a candidate for the House District 99 seat in the June 1 primary election, according to state party executive director Jim Spearman. A panel earlier this month declared that real estate investor Figures failed to meet residency requirements and was not eligible to seek the office. Figures, 28, is challenging 34-year incumbent state Rep. James Buskey, 73. North Mobile businessman Henry Haseeb is also seeking to oust Buskey.

No new evidence will be accepted during Figures' appeal hearing which will be limited to the initial hearing's transcript and any possible errors committed then, according to Spearman.  

Rove a rainmaker
Former White House aide Karl Rove raised thousands of dollars for the Alabama Republican Party during an appearance in Birmingham earlier this week, according to GOP spokesman Philip Bryan. Rove's speech at a fundraising dinner will net between $30,000 and $40,000 for the state GOP once all the expenses are deducted, said Bryan. Rove addressed Republican supporters at a private dinner club that overlooks the Magic City. He previously served as an adviser to former President George W. Bush. Rove is now a commentator on Fox News.

Bracey rally for school pride
Napoleon Bracey will hold a District 98 All Class Cookout reunion for all high schools in the district from 12 noon-4 p.m. Saturday, May 1 at Chickasabogue Park. Bracey, president of the Prichard City Council, is challenging incumbent state Rep. James Gordon for House seat 98 in the June 1 Democratic primary.

"Come show your school pride," urges the Bracey campaign. "All high schools in District 98 past and present (are welcome) -- Blount, Vigor, Mobile County Training School and Trinity Gardens. Come and bring your whole family. And it's totally free!"

Fire in the Gulf
The following photos show the BP oil rig ablaze in the Gulf of Mexico south of Mobile: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9

Oiled wildlife rescue volunteers
Volunteers to assist in the rescue of wildlife harmed in the recent Gulf of Mexico oil spill are organizing on Facebook.

Regardless of events affecting the scope of the disaster, there likely will be affected animals all along the coast.

For more information visit this page or email

Folsom fundraiser at Felix's
A fundraising luncheon for Lt. Gov. Jim Folsom, Jr., who is seeking re-election this year, was held Thursday at Felix’s Fish Camp Restaurant on the Causeway.

Among those in attendance were former state Sen. Bill Roberts, lobbyist Beth Marietta Lyons, former state Sen. Gary Tanner, Mobile County Education Association official Wade Perry and his bride, attorney Dorothy Barker "Dottie" Perry of Burns, Cunningham and Mackey, attorney Cecil Gardner and his wife, Susan, Mobile Area Democratic Association chairman Vance McCrary, attorney Karlos Finley and former Mobile County Democratic Party Chairman Bob Beckerle

For more information on the Folsom campaign call 540.239.1730 or email

Strange, James on tap
The Mobile County Republican Executive Committee will meet Monday, May 3 at Westminster Presbyterian Church at 7 p.m. Guest speakers include Tim James, candidate for Alabama governor, and Luther Strange, candidate for Alabama Attorney General. The public is invited to attend. The church is located at Sage Avenue and Airport Blvd.

Hillyer's dad dies
Haywood Hillyer III, New Orleans lawyer and devoted Republican Party member who fought David Duke's campaign, died recently at 72. He is survived by, among others, a son, former Press-Register editorial writer Quin Hillyer.

Artur Davis' Mobile HQ to open
The grand opening of the Artur Davis campaign's newest field office is set for Saturday, May 8 rom 12 noon-1:30 p.m. in Mobile in the Skyland Shopping Center, Suite A at Government Boulevard and Azalea Road.

The Democratic congressman is vying to become the first black governor in Alabama history. He faces state Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks for the party nomination in the June 1 primary election.

Eastern Shore Republican Women
to host big line-up if candidates
Eastern Shore Republican Women will meet Wednesday, May 19 at 11:30 a.m. at the Fairhope Yacht Club.

Guest speakers will be Wayne A Gruenloh, candidate for re-election Baldwin County Commission, District 3; Tucker Dorsey, candidate for Baldwin County Commission, District 3; Daniel Dyas, candidate for Baldwin County Commission District 2; Bob James, candidate for Baldwin County Commission District 2; and Ken Hitson, candidate for Baldwin County District Attorney.

Reservations should be made no later than Friday, May 14 to Lucy Sundbeck, or call 517-4435.   

Lunch is $16. Prospective members and visitors are welcome. The meeting marks a change from ESRW's previous schedule which called for meetings on the third Monday of the month.
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