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Bill Poole running for speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives

State Rep. Bill Poole (R-Tuscaloosa) has become the first official candidate for speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives.

Current Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon announced on Monday that he was not seeking reelection to the office.

First elected in 2010, Poole has for several years served as the chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Education Committee which is charged with overseeing the state’s $7.7 billion education budget.

In a release announcing his pursuit of the office, Poole outlined his vision for a speakership.

“My goal as Speaker will be to collaborate with all members to set clear priorities, to make sure all voices are heard, to establish transparent processes, and then to aggressively pursue the enactment of policies related to the issues that matter the most to the citizens of our state,” he said.

He continued, “If the members of the State House of Representatives choose to elect me as Speaker, I will pledge to lead the House with determination, dedication, honesty and transparency as we work together to secure better paying jobs, improved education outcomes, improved health care, expanded broadband access, and more investments in innovation and technology.

“Alabama is a great state full of wonderful people that have unlimited potential,” Poole added. “I will do my best to lead the House as we work to address the challenges of today and cultivate the opportunities that can be available to our children tomorrow.”

Poole also serves as chairman of the Alabama Innovation Commission, a group whose mission is to focus on entrepreneurship, technology and innovation throughout the state’s economy.

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia