Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin, R-Indian Springs, one of the most ardently pro-life members of the Alabama legislature, is retiring at the conclusion of her current term after 16 years of service.
“It has truly been a wonderful 16 years, Rep. McClurkin told Yellowhammer today by phone. “It has been a great opportunity to serve the people of this area.”
McClurkin said some of her proudest moments in the Alabama House were when pro-life bills she sponsored were passed into law.
“The bill we passed this year to regulated abortion clinics was huge. I considered it a great accomplishment,” she said.
She also pointed out another bill she introduced that streamlined Alabama’s complex Certificate of Need process, which regulates whether hospitals can move or expand.
But a bill McClurkin passed prior to Republicans taking over the legislature may have been her most impressive legislative achievement.
“Somewhere around my second year in the House, we passed the ‘Women’s Right to Know’ bill that required sonograms at the time of an abortion and required notification of parents,” McClurkin recalled. “It passed in the last few minutes of the legislative session. I had to cloture my own bill because the time was running out. I hardly even knew what a cloture motion was, I had only seen other people do it. It was a miracle that happened with the Democrats in control. Steve Windom was Lt. Gov. at the time, and he made sure the Senate concurred with our bill as the clock ran out. Then Gov. Siegelman signed it into law.”
McClurkin said she has wrestled with the decision to leave the legislature for a while now, and feels the timing is right for her to go.
“It’s been a difficult decision because I enjoy it so much,” she said. “My husband and I pray about it every four years. The answer is usually clear, but this time it hasn’t been, so I’ve struggled with it. But this is probably the time to do it. I have family and I am a grandmother. Being in the legislature can be an all-consuming job. I will miss it, I know, but I’ve reached a time in my life when I would like to do other things.”
When word started trickling out into the community that McClurkin had decided to not seek re-election, several names started popping up as possible successors.
Dr. Doug Clark, an eye doctor and past president of the Alabama Optometric Association; Arnold Mooney, former Vice President Colonial Properties Trust, currently with Southeast Commercial; Charles Knight, formerly of Harbert Management Corporation, currently running his own securities firm; and Jimmy Entrekin, owner of political consulting firm Entrekin Consulting, LLC, have all been mentioned as possible candidates for the House District 43 seat.
Clark and Mooney appear to be full speed ahead with their campaigns, while insiders say Knight has decided not to run, and Entrekin remains on the fence.
“We have some great people who will run and do a great job if elected,” McClurkin said when asked about her potential successors. “Doug Clark has helped me in all of my campaigns, and Arnold Mooney has been my campaign chair for the last several campaigns.”
McClurkin said she plans to remain active in the Party, in spite of her decision to leave elected office.
“I don’t plan to stop being active,” she said. “I plan to still keep up with things and be active in the Party. It’s been an honor to serve this area, and I will continue to do that in other ways.”
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