Riley a livestock farmer turned politician

Published 6:01 pm Thursday, February 26, 2009

Elected to the first of his two terms as Governor of Alabama in November 2002, Bob Riley had more experience in raising chickens, cows and selling cars than he did in politics.

But by the time he was reelected for his second in November 2006, he was a seasoned administrator who earned the respect of many throughout the country.

Riley was born in 1944 in Ashland where he would become a successful cattle rancher, own a poultry operation, a grocery store, pharmacy, trucking company and even earned a real estate license.

The Clay County native served a term on the Ashland City Council from 1972-1976 and represented Chilton County residents in the United States House of Representatives from 1996 until he became governor in 2002. In Congress he was a member of the Armed Services Committee.

In 2002 he won one of the closest elections in the history of the governor’s office when he defeated then incumbent governor Don Siegelman.

The Alabama Constitution will not allow the 64-year old to seek a third consecutive term as the head of the executive branch of Alabama government.

The governor and his wife, Patsy, are the parents of Rob, Minda, Krisallyn and Jenice (who is deceased).

You can reach Riley at his office in Montgomery at 334-242-7100.