Filing Deadline: April 3
Nov. 4, 1998 Democratic Lt. Gov. Don Siegelman rode his proposal for a state lottery to victory over Republican Gov. Fob James. One of the few Democrats to oust an incumbent Republican governor this year, Siegelman won 58 percent to James's 42 percent, with 99 percent of precincts reporting.
Debates: The candidates sparred over Siegelman's plan to create a state lottery to fund schools. In the Oct. 20 debate, Siegelman accused James of paroling too many violent criminals during his tenure.
Ads: Siegelman launched his ad campaign first, targeting James's education record throughout the fall. James's television campaign turned especially nasty during the final weeks of the race. He portrayed Siegelman as Pinocchio and made the Democrat's nose appear to grow in an ad that tied the lottery plan to cockfighting. James also reached to his Christian conservative base with a new ad as the contest wound down.
Money: By the end of September, Siegelman had collected $5 million and spent $2 million. James reported $369,314 left in cash on hand.
Polls: Siegelman continued to expand his lead, claiming 60 percent to James's 35 percent in a Southern Opinion Research poll conducted from Oct. 21 to Oct. 23.
Ryan Thornburg, washingtonpost.com
Ryan Thornburg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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