Yellowhammer News on Tuesday spoke with Alabama Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed (R-Jasper), who was unanimously chosen by his Republican colleagues the previous day to be the next president pro tempore of the legislature’s upper chamber.
Reed’s nomination by the Senate GOP Caucus came after Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) in the same meeting announced he would step down from the leadership role effective at the beginning of the 2021 regular session.
State Senator Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville) was then selected by the caucus to be the next majority leader upon Reed’s ascension.
Speaking to Yellowhammer News, Reed said, “I’m excited, I’m appreciative — grateful, honored — to be asked by my Senate colleagues in my caucus to move forward as pro tem of the body once Senator Marsh steps down in the regular session coming in February.”
He continued to say he has been proud to serve as majority leader since 2014.
“And it’s been a great honor to serve with Senator Marsh,” Reed stressed. “And I want to continue working closely with him. He’s got topics that are of significance and importance to him, and he wants to focus on those. I think that is important for him and for our body.”
Marsh has also announced he will not seek reelection as a senator in 2022, meaning the next two regular sessions will be his last. He was first elected in 1998 and became pro tem in 2010.
Reed subsequently told Yellowhammer News, “I’m looking forward to working with Senator Scofield — who’s been my friend and I’ve known for many, many years — in his role as leader.”
“It’s just a great honor and a privilege for me,” he outlined. “I’ve also already reached out to the minority leader, Senator [Bobby] Singleton, who is my great friend.”
Reed advised he will “be looking to communicate individually with the members of the minority caucus.”
“I have great relationships with minority members, as well,” he remarked. “It’s going to be my goal that we work together moving forward on topics that are of paramount importance to the people of the state of Alabama.”
The senator from Walker County then pointed to a pressing priority for the legislature.
“I think it’s clear this next legislative session that the people of Alabama are interested in our economy. They’re interested in job growth, they’re interested in the mitigation of the coronavirus pandemic, they’re interested in us incentivizing industry and business to come to our state — those are the kinds of things that are important,” Reed said.
He added that in Alabama “because of conservative leadership over the last several years, we have been in a better fiscal position than other states.”
“But it still does not mean that our economy has not been feeling the effects of coronavirus, and of course that is going to be important to the people of Alabama that we, as their representatives, focus on the things that are most important to them,” he stated.
Reed delineated that related to COVID-19, the legislature will be focused on continuing to mitigate the pandemic as well as the economic effects it is having on Alabama families.
The 2021 regular session is set to gavel in on February 2.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn