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TUESDAY, MARCH 29, 2005
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EDITORIAL

Shelby, Cramer show importance of seniority

The fact that Alabama's congressional delegation is increasingly well positioned to protect Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville is a reminder that voters should not discount seniority when they go to the polls.

U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, and Rep. Bud Cramer, D-Huntsville, are effective advocates for North Alabama. Some of that effectiveness stems from their energy and wisdom, but not all. Seniority is their most important trait.

Senate leaders tapped Sen. Shelby to lead a panel that funds NASA and other agencies. Mr. Cramer has a position on a similar committee in the House.

Ideology is important, but seniority is king in the effort to get or keep federal dollars. Partisan litmus tests like abortion and theology make the headlines. Federal programs in North Alabama, however, keep this area brimming with high-income, competent people and a steady infusion of dollars.

Change is at times needed, but the incumbents serving this region are our best weapons in the effort to keep North Alabama vibrant.

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