Alabama Chief Justice race in the final stretch - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Alabama Chief Justice race in the final stretch

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In just 12 days, voters will head to the polls, to make a pivotal decision on the Alabama Supreme Court. Two candidates are running for the Chief Justice seat. Former Chief Justice Roy Moore and Judge Robert Vance are facing-off for a position that could shape Alabama's financial future.

 Judge Robert Vance is the Democratic nominee. He was appointed as judge for the 10th Judicial Circuit in Jefferson County. Republican Judge Roy Moore, held the job over a decade ago. He's a war veteran and served as a circuit judge.  The real concern for both candidates centers on the state budget. 

"It's a heavy administrative responsibility that goes above and beyond serving as a member of the Supreme Court," Judge Robert Vance, Democratic nominee said.

These two candidates will spend the next few days on the road, catching as many last minute votes as they can find.

"I've traveled about a thousand miles since the end of last week," Judge Roy Moore, Republican nominee said.

"I have a schedule that will take us all over the state of Alabama," Judge Vance said.

The Chief Justice job has been a controversial one. When former Chief Justice Moore refused to take the Ten Commandments out of the Supreme Court - the nation watched.

"The real issue was never about the Ten Commandments or about a monument," Judge Moore said. "It was about the acknowledgement of the Sovereignty of God."

He was ousted but now says he's ready for another round.

"I think I know the job," Judge Moore said. "I've been there for quite some time and I've worked where budgets were reduced." 

Judge Vance says, the social issues, like gay marriage- shouldn't take center stage in the Chief Justice job. 

"Those kinds of concerns are not a pressing issue in the minds of most Alabamians," Moore said. "I'm trying to focus on what's ahead of us and what the next Chief Justice has to do."

BOth candidates agree, the greatest challenge is the state budget.

"We've had to lay off hundreds of people from the courts, we've had to cut back on programs and services that we have provided to the people of Alabama," Judge Vance said. "We are about cut to the bone. More cuts may be coming in the future."

"We're going to have to talk a lot to the Legislature and their understanding that we are a branch, we need adequate funding as in the Constitution of Alabama," Moore said.

 

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