The contest between Troy King and Luther Strange was the toughest and hardest-hitting race in either primary. At times things got pretty dirty. Nevertheless, a Washington lobbyist handily defeated an incumbent Attorney General by a large margin. This race was filled with accusations, a few true, but mostly false. The contest started off somewhat nasty, and got worse as it progressed. Troy was not able to raise sufficient campaign money to go on television so he could defend himself against the rough stuff that was being thrown at him. Long before the campaign officially started, malicious rumors were spread around the state about Troy that were totally false. The politically-inspired grand jury investigation, and the obvious involvement of the Riley forces in the race, hurt Troy badly. This combination of things, in my opinion, resulted in his defeat. The vote was clearly anti-King and has little to do with Big Luther.
It was rather interesting that Big Luther’s background as a Washington lobbyist, and his most interesting list of “clients,” never really surfaced in this race. While both should have been real issues in the campaign, neither issue ever developed. Troy wound up having to defend himself – causing a good record over his tenure as Attorney General to be lost in the shuffle and virtually ignored by the voters – and in reality he never really had a chance to win. When you get down to it, there were just too many things for Troy to overcome. It will be interesting to see how the GOP nominee, who has very close ties to big oil companies like BP, will fare in November.
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