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Merrill joining Waggoner as policy director

Former Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill will begin a new position in the private sector.

But, he isn’t leaving the political scene, directly.

Merrill is set to become the director of Public Policy and Strategic Markets in Alabama for Waggoner Engineering.

The company is based in Jackson, Miss., with offices in six states and Washington, D.C.

Merrill’s executive assistant and scheduler Karen Guthrie will be following him as administrator of Alabama and Florida.

“I want to take this time to thank the people of Alabama for giving me the opportunity to serve as Alabama’s 53rd Secretary of State for the last eight years.” Merrill said in a news release. “As the longest serving Republican Secretary of State in Alabama history, it has been my honor to preside over the safest and secure elections in the United States.

“Since I have been your secretary, we have registered 2.2 million voters and we now have a state record of 3.7 million voters. We have broken every record in voter registration and voter participation in Alabama.”

Merrill also spoke about his administration’s progress in the business sector.

“In the area of business services, we have reduced the wait time from a seven to nine months delay to a 24-hour turnaround for the last six and one-half years,” he said. “And we have done so with 25% fewer employees (49 down to 36), because we are no longer moving at the speed of government, but at the speed of business.”

Merrill said he is “excited to leave this time of public service and enter the private sector once again.”

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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