It was billed as a ribbon cutting for a new Alabama Works Fast Track Training Program in Sumter County. But for Gov. Don Siegelman, it was also a campaign stop.
The new job training center that opened is one of six that have opened in the Alabama this year. It is designed to help train workers for high tech jobs.
Sumter County is considered a political stronghold for Siegelman, who's locked in a tough re-election battle with Republican Cong. Bob Riley. Polls show the two in a virtual dead heat in the last week of the campaign.
The governor's seat is an important one for national Republicans. President Bush, First Lady Laura Bush, and several members of the cabinet have spent time in the state stumping for Riley. But Siegelman said he's focusing on issues important to him, like the education lottery and the corporate income tax.
Election Day is five days away, and if this race is as close as most believe it will be, the Black Belt in general and Sumter County in particular could play a big role in its outcome.