Riley Urges Alabamians to Believe in Brighter Future

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Republican Governor Bob Riley, sworn in
Monday for a second term, said the good times the state is enjoying will only get better if Alabamians address their problems with courage.

Riley's swearing-in ceremony occurred on the Martin Luther King Junior holiday, and it took place a few feet from where King ended the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march in 1965. The 62-year-old former Congressman and Ashland native also stood a few feet from where Jefferson Davis was sworn in as president of the Confederacy in 1861.

Several other state officials also took their oaths of office during the ceremony in front of the Capitol, including Democratic Lieutenant Governor Jim Folsom Junior, Republican Attorney General Troy King, and Democratic Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks.

The event had a touch of presidential politics, with retired General Wesley Clark swearing in Sparks and Arizona Senator John McCain attending as a guest of Riley and Republican Attorney General Troy King.

The ceremony resembled past inaugurations in its style, but not in its weather. The temperature was in the low 70s, allowing spectators to leave their overcoats and gloves at home.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)