Bentley defends jobs record, Griffith already on the offensive - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Bentley defends jobs record, Griffith already on the offensive

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Parker Griffith Parker Griffith
Gov. Robert Bentley Gov. Robert Bentley
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

The governor may have been given not quite accurate information prior to his briefing with reporters Wednesday following his romp to victory in the GOP primary.

Gov. Robert Bentley has made it clear that he wants to continue job creation efforts if he's elected to a second term. He even touted some statistics that he claimed help support his case.

"There has never been, year over year, a single month when we have not increased jobs in this state, not one time. And we have those numbers," Bentley said.

According to data provided by the Alabama Department of Labor, that's not the case.

In 2013 alone, there were 11 months that saw job losses year over year compared to the same months in 2012.

As a matter of fact the only month that saw job increases the prior year was January 2013, but even that month only saw 366 more jobs compared to January 2012.

Less than 24 hours after he locked up the Democratic bid for governor of Alabama, Parker Griffith started his campaign with criticisms of the governor on that same jobs record.

"We have to let the people know that there are fewer people working than two years ago," Griffith said during a live interview on WAFF 48 News Today Wednesday morning.

Griffith won the Democratic nomination over Kevin Bass with more than 60 percent of the vote. He's a former Democratic congressman from Huntsville who later switched to the Republican Party and switched back to the Democratic Party to run against Bentley.

He contends that the people of Alabama have been misled by the economic health of the state.

"We've been distracted but we're not distracted anymore because we know what the price of gas is, we know what the price of milk is, and bread, and our families are suffering," Griffith said.

Griffith also wants to challenge Bentley to a series of debates.

The governor all but said Wednesday that he thinks the race may be predetermined and insisted that he won't run a negative campaign and that he intends to try to stay above petty political fights.

"I'm just not into getting into it with my opponent," Bentley said. "I just don't think that's good for the people of the state. I think the people can make their own decision and in fact I'm not so sure that they already have made their own decision."

Even at an early stage, the governor is trying to avoid the kind of politics that Griffith is attempting to make a staple of the race.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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