Columnist leaving race, returning to commentary

Published 1:02 am Friday, February 7, 2014

Political columnist and commentator Steve Flowers is expected to announce today he is withdrawing from the statewide race for the Alabama Public Service Commission.

“I only considered a race for the State Public Service Commission after the State Ethics Commission confirmed that I could continue my career as Alabama’s leading political columnist and commentator in conjunction with the public service endeavor,” Flowers said in a statement released late Thursday.

“However, after contemplation and consultation with editors, readers, viewers and listeners it is my belief that I will lose credibility and potentially my impartiality as a political journalist if I reenter the political arena as a participant. I much prefer my role as an observer and analyst than as a politician,” he said. ” I have decided that my role as a critic, columnist and political historian is one where I can have a greater influence and better serve my state. Therefore, I will not be a candidate for public office at this time.”

Most newspapers, including The Star-News, stopped publishing his column after he qualified for office in an effort to be fair to all candidates.