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Figures officially launches campaign against Sessions

MOBILE (AP) — Democratic State Sen. Vivian Figures said Saturday she is running against Republican U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions in the 2008 election, pledging to give Alabama “new progressive leadership.”

Figures, 50, made her announcement at Mobile Government Plaza, where she began her political career in 1993 on the City Council. She moved from the council into her husband Michael Figures’ legislative seat after his death in 1996 and has served 11 years.

“I plan on running a very vigorous, lively, energetic campaign, to let people know who I am,” she said.

Sessions, 60, also of Mobile, won his second term in 2002 and will seek re-election. No other challengers have announced.

In announcing her bid, Figures discussed growing up one of nine children in Mobile, drawing inspiration from parents who “taught us to believe in ourselves.” Figures was frank about her own personal struggles, raising three sons — with two in college and one in prison — and her steadfast love for them.

Figures said she recognized the Senate race would cost millions. Sessions already has more than $3.1 million in his campaign coffers. Figures described Sessions’ campaign fund as his “Iraq campaign fund.” Figures said her fundraising begins with a zero balance. But she said victory hasn’t always gone to the candidate raising the most money.

Figures said the United States’ reputation has “suffered greatly” under the Republican administration, calling Sessions “partisan and ineffective.”

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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