Former Alabama Lt. Gov. Jere Beasley, one of the nation’s most successful trial lawyers and one of Alabama’s most influential Democrats, today endorsed U.S. Rep. Artur Davis for governor. Beasley said he has accepted an offer from the Davis campaign to be its chairman.

“I’ve been around Alabama politics for a number of years and I’ve seen governors come and go. I’ve seen governors of all stripes, Republicans, Democrats, liberals, conservatives,” said Beasley. “The best governors had a definitive leadership quality and I see that in Artur Davis.”

Beasley said he had confidence in Davis to lead and bring people together in a kind of politics that would transform the state and help bring jobs to Alabama.

“In my opinion, he’s the right man for the job. I know he can win,” said Beasley.

Beasley’s endorsement is notable because he is a power in the state’s plaintiff lawyers organization — Trial Lawyers for Public Justice. It has a history of backing Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb, who is considering a run for governor. Trial lawyers have strongly urged her not to make that run because Cobb — the only Democrat on the high court — would have to resign to pursue the governor’s race.

Beasley said he had not talked with Cobb about her pending decision, but he made it plain that he hopes Cobb stays put in her current job.

“She’s doing a good there but it’s her call,” Beasley said. “Personally, I think most people in Alabama would like to see her stay and fulfill her obligation as chief justice.”


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