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Finance director to run for court seat

By Phillip Rawls
Associated Press Writer

MONTGOMERY — State Finance Director Jim Main, who had a varied career as both a plaintiff and defense lawyer before entering state government, said Tuesday he plans to run for the Alabama Supreme Court next year.

Main, 62, acknowledges there is concern among some in the business community about him having been a law partner with former Lt. Gov. Jere Beasley, one of Alabama’s best known plaintiff lawyers. But he said his nearly seven years of service in the cabinets of Republican Govs. Fob James and Bob Riley should demonstrate a fair and balanced approach to business issues.

One of Alabama’s nine Supreme Court seats will be on the 2008 ballot. It will be a rare open seat because Justice Harold See has announced he will not seek re-election.

Main said he plans to qualify when the Republican Party starts signing up candidates in January.

“If the qualifying were today, I would qualify,” he said..

Potential contenders

Main is the first Republican to jump into the race. One Dem-ocrat, Lauderdale County District Judge Deborah Bell Paseur, has already said she will run.

Republican Kelli Wise, a judge on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, has been considering the race. She said Tuesday she is uncertain what she will do because the governor recently appointed her husband, Arthur Ray, to a district judgeship in Montgomery and he will have to run for a full term next year.

Wise, who is in the middle of her appeals court term, said she and her husband are discussing whether they can conduct two campaigns simultaneously and look after their 8-year-old daughter. They hope to make a decision by Thanksgiving, she said.

Montgomery attorney Doug McElvy said Tuesday he is receiving lots of encouragement to run as a Republican for the state’s highest court. “I’m very strongly considering it,” he said.

McElvy is well known in legal circles, having served as president of the Alabama State Bar in 2004-2005 and currently serving as vice chairman of the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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