In Cullman, former AL Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb hints at 2018 run for governor

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Andrew Cryer

Former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Sue Bell Cobb, addresses the Cullman County Democrats

CULLMAN – Former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Sue Bell Cobb, says she’s not ready to give up on Alabama. In fact, she hinted strongly at the possibility of making a run for the governor’s office next year. Cobb joined the Cullman County Democrats for their April meeting this week. A walking piece of Alabama history, Cobb was the first woman to ever hold the highest office of the state’s judicial system when she was elected in 2007, serving until 2011.

“I’m not ready to give up on Alabama,” said Cobb. “We have wonderful people here, absolutely wonderful, amazing people. I’m convinced that we need elected officials to speak truth. We need elected officials to care about the next generation, not the next election… We need policy makers in this state to truly care more about the people of Alabama than they do themselves.”

Cobb laid out her vison for what Alabama can become, “We must truly educate our citizens. It’s going to take a well-funded education effort to get people to understand that other states that have invested in their infrastructure, workforce development and their people are $10,000 per capita ahead of us when 25 years ago, we were neck-in-neck… we have to do a better job educating the people of Alabama about why we fund government.”

She continued, “If we taxed like the state of Mississippi, we would have $1.8 billion more dollars in our general fund.” Cobb says that surplus could go toward funding her proposal of expanding education to free community college for all Alabama students. 

Cobb was realistic in her expectations, acknowledging the ensuing uphill battle for whomever the Alabama Democratic Party’s nominee for governor may be, “This is lean times for Democrats, lean, lean times.”  

Cobb says she will reach an official decision by mid-May.

Of her time on the bench as chief justice, Cobb spoke specifically of juvenile justice reform. “We passed the Juvenile Justice Reform Act, and we have reduced the number of children in lock-up by over 50 percent, saving the state of Alabama tens of millions of dollars,” said Cobb.

“We took technology and saved the state hundreds of millions of dollars… Alabama has the finest e-filing system in the United States of America,” she said.    

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