Siegelman Prepares Farewell

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With one week left in office, Gov. Don Siegelman said he's preparing to leave office after 20 years in state government with no regrets. But Siegelman said he's leaving behind one major piece of unfinished business -- his plan for a lottery to help fund education.

He said he believes the lottery is not dead and will be adopted within the next four years, despite opposition from Governor-elect Bob Riley.

The 56-year-old Siegelman said he enjoyed his four years as governor, despite the heat from criticism over no-bid contracts, an investigation of his finances and the disappointment of losing the 2002 election to Riley.

Siegelman also said he believes history will be kind to his administration and that he will be remembered for the decisions of major automobile manufacturers to come into the state or to expand facilities, for working to remove portable classrooms from Alabama schools and for efforts to improve education.

On his political future, Siegelman said he has no intentions of running for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Richard Shelby. He also said he has no plans to attend Riley's inauguration on Jan. 20.