Baldwin County official defends James' bridge

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Baldwin County's probate judge is defending a toll bridge developed by Republican candidate for governor Tim James against criticism by one of his opponents, Bradley Byrne.

Byrne has called the bridge an insider deal that was helped by James' father, Fob James, being governor.

Probate Judge Tim Russell was mayor of Foley when the toll bridge connecting Foley and Orange Beach was built. Russell told reporters Friday that Fob James insisted no state money go into the road leading to the bridge. Russell said the Foley Beach Express was badly needed because it provided a second evacuation route from the Baldwin County coast.

Byrne has begun a TV ad criticizing the project.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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