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Alabama: new chief justice calls for non-partisan elections

AP reports: Sue Bell Cobb, elected Alabama’s first female chief justice after what was likely the second most expensive judicial race in American history, is determined to change more about Alabama’s courts than the gender of the top judge.

Cobb said she hopes to use her six-year term to institute nonpartisan elections for judges in Alabama. ...

Through late October, Cobb had reported raising $2.4 million and Nabers had pulled in $4 million, including his primary race. Republican Justice Tom Parker reported $311,399 in contributions in his losing primary race against Nabers.

Cobb, Nabers and Parker won’t have to report their final totals until January, but the Justice at Stake Campaign, a nonpartisan group that tracks spending in judicial races, said the race appears to be the most expensive court race in America in 2006 and the second most expensive in the nation’s history.

The record of $9.3 million was set in an Illinois contest in 2004, spokesman Jesse Rutledge said.

Cobbs call the cost of the Alabama campaign “indecent.” -- Chief justice-elect urges nonpartisan elections in state

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