Not in 2010

Published 8:15 am Friday, January 16, 2009

Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives Seth Hammett (D-Andalusia) ended speculation about his potential candidacy for governor next year in an announcement released late yesterday afternoon.

Hammett, who is serving his third term as speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives, said he decided not to run for the state’s highest elected office after more than a year of consideration.

“I have decided to direct all my energies toward representing the people of House District 92 in Covington and Escambia counties,” Hammett said, “and toward my duties as speaker.”

“It is critical at this time in our state’s history that we all come together and pursue a bipartisan agenda that will move Alabama forward,” Hammett said. “The 2009 regular legislative session will be a difficult one and will require our united and undivided attention.”

Political pundits speculating about who would run for governor in 2010 have long listed Hammett as a potential Democratic candidate. Other Democrats considering the race are Lt. Gov. Jim Folsom Jr. and Commissioner of Agriculture Ron Sparks. U.S. Rep. Artur Davis (D-Birmingham) has publicly stated he would like to run for governor. Although he has not officially announced, he recently scaled back his committee assignments in Washington, saying he wanted more time to devote to the governor’s race.

On the Republican side, Tim James, a Greenville businessman and the son of former Gov. Fob James, has already has announced his candidacy. Also said to be considering a run at the Republican nomination are Troy University Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Postsecondary Chancellor Bradley Byrne, Mobile Congressman Jo Bonner, Alabama Treasurer Kay Ivey and businessman Jimmy Rane, known for his “Yellow Fellow” ads,

Hammett was first elected to the House in 1978. The Covington County native also is director of economic development for PowerSouth. He is president emeritus of LBW Community College and was the founder and first president of the First National Bank of Andalusia, now Wachovia.

The Speaker is the recipient of many honors, including:

Citizen of the Year and the Distinguished Service Award in Andalusia

Guardian of Small Business, awarded by the National Federation of Independent Businesses

The Legislative Leadership Award, given by the Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools

The Meritorious Service Award, given by The Montgomery Advertiser

The Service to Agriculture Award, given by the Alabama Farmers’ Federation

The Children’s Hero Award, given by the Alabama Department of Human Resources

The Legislator of the Year Award, given by Alabama Electric Cities

The Legislative Award given by the Alabama Association of School Boards

The Legislator of the Year Award, given by the Alabama Independent Insurance Agents

The Visionary Leadership Award, given by School Superintendents of Alabama