MONTGOMERY - Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley, after hinting at it for months, filed paperwork Thursday officially declaring her candidacy for governor in 2006.
If elected, Baxley, a Democrat, would become Alabama's first female governor since Lurleeen Wallace.
"She certainly starts out as the favorite to win the Democratic primary next year," said William Stewart, a political scientist at the University of Alabama. "She's popular among a lot of people."
He said some Democrats also might be concerned that she's never been in a campaign bloodbath like the 2006 governor's race will likely be.
"She has negatives in that she's never had to wage a full-scale campaign the way she will have to for governor," Stewart said. "My question is, can she stand the long haul?"