Sessions for Governor?

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Some Alabama Republicans have been discussing the possibility of recruiting U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions to run for governor in 2006, possibly opposing incumbent Republican Gov. Bob Riley.

But Sessions told a Mobile newspaper he's a strong supporter of Riley and is not interested in running for governor in 2006.

The move comes less than a year-and-a-half into Riley's four-year term, which has been defined by the defeat of his billion-dollar tax package last September and by internal GOP struggles because of the proposal.

Sessions did not take a public position on Riley's tax plan last year.

Riley's spokesman, Jeff Emerson, said the governor "is very pleased" to have Sessions' support. Emerson said Riley has not decided if he will run for a second term.

State GOP Chairman Marty Connors, a critic of Riley's tax plan, confirmed there is a movement to draft Sessions, but said he does not know who has been behind the effort.

Since the tax vote, some party faithful have expressed concern that Riley cannot win re-election and will hurt the rest of the Republican ticket.