Candidates on last-minute campaign trail for Memorial Day 2010

By Jonathan Hardison

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - We're now just hours away from the polls opening for primary election day.

Many of the candidates spent part of their day campaigning in the Birmingham area Monday.

Several campaign operatives said having an election just 1 day after Memorial Day will probably hurt turnout tomorrow, and  that makes securing every last vote Monday all the more important.     

American Village in Shelby County hosted a ceremony to honor those who've served our country in the armed forces. But to the handful of candidates in attendance, it was also a room full of hands that needed shaking, and potential votes in Tuesday's primaries.

"My message is I need you to vote, I need you to turn out and vote tomorrow, this race, there will probably be a runoff, so we'll get ready to tee it up and go again," said GOP gubernatorial candidate Tim James.

James shook hands and posed for pictures while just feet away, 2 candidates for the Republican Lt. Governor nomination, State Sen. Hank Erwin and State Treasurer Kay Ivey tried to lock down every voter they could.

Luther Strange is seeking to unseat incumbent Troy King in the attorney general's race, and he used the memorial day gathering as a chance to press his case with voters.

Rep. Spencer Bachus is battling Stan Cooke for a chance to run for another term, and while Bachus said he was focused on his race, he's also noticed the negative tone taken in his party's gubernatorial fight.

"I'm disappointed over some of the negative campaigning," Bachus said. "It's ok to point out your opponents record, but I wish the people of Alabama had a clearer image about what our candidates had accomplished in the past and how they plan to lead us in the future."

After going face to face with rival Ron Sparks at a Birmingham church service Sunday, Rep. Artur Davis rallied his campaign staff at his Birmingham headquarters Monday afternoon as he and Sparks close out their fight for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

"You never know what turnout's going to be, it's a post-holiday election, that's an unusual dynamic," Davis said. "I still run into folks who think the election's next Tuesday, ran into 2 of them in Gadsden today. So what we have to do is get out there and let people know about this election and work extremely hard."

Other Republican gubernatorial candidates were on the campaign trail today. Bradley Byrne attended a Memorial Day event in Mobile, Robert Bentley visited several events in the Tuscaloosa area, and Roy Moore's campaign had representatives at several Memorial Day events, as well.

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