By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
A campaign finance report filed today shows former Republican Attorney General Troy King is back in the game, raising over $130,000.00 in small donations in just over two weeks.
King, once thought to be another asterisk in former Gov. Bob Riley’s scheme to hold onto the reins of power after leaving office in 2010, formally filed his campaign with the secretary of state’s office in mid-November.
In his first FCPA report, King raised $131,550.oo in cash contributions in November.
Current appointed Attorney General Steve Marshall’s first report in June showed him receiving $76,975.00 in contributions, which included a personal loan of $15,000, while his closets competitor former U.S. Attorney Alice Martin’s opening salvo claimed $78,020.00 in itemized cash contributions.
Another contender is Chess Bedsole, who launched his campaign with a $300,000 personal loan, giving the Birmingham attorney an auspicious jump-start. Bedsole raised only $12,750.00 in the latest round of funding but has nearly $400,000 in cash-on-hand.
Polling over the last several months finds King pulling 30 percent of likely voters, while Marshall and Martin remain in single digits, and Bedsole unrealizable in the most recent surveys.
Privately, for now, some Republican thought-leaders are willing to concede that King was a victim of the Bob Riley, Mike Hubbard, Billy Canary plan to own state government. With Hubbard’s trial and ultimate conviction on 12 felony counts of public corruption, it became clear that Riley, Hubbard and Canary took numerous moves to secure their base of operations, but claymore mines were waiting.
Luther Strange was the Riley machine’s choice for attorney general in the 2010 Republican primaries, and with its help, Strange handily dispatched King with Strange receiving nearly 60 percent of the primary vote to win the nomination.
However, it was Strange’s special prosecution unit that laid waste to the Riley, Hubbard, Canary scheme.
King previously served as an assistant attorney general and a legal adviser to both Republican governors, Riley and Fob James. Riley appointed King attorney general when Bill Pryor resigned to accept a federal judgeship. King won the position in his own right in 2006, defeating Mobile County District Attorney John Tyson, Jr., by a 54-46 percent margin.
King’s unwillingness to join in Riley’s Bingo Wars led to a court battle which fractured the once close relationship shared by the pair.
King’s entry into the attorney general’s race will likely stir controversy among those who remain Riley loyalists and those who wish the former governor-turned-lobbyist would ride out on the same horse Hubbard mounted him on for campaign ads in his first run for governor.
Marshall, appointed by Gov. Robert Bentley, up until recently has been the business class’s favorite, with Martin having the law-enforcement vote. Bedsole, mainly known for his work on President Donald Trump’s Alabama campaign, is a dark horse competitor.
This report has been updated.