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Poole withdraws from race for speaker of the House

Only a few days removed from announcing his candidacy to replace the retiring Mac McCutcheon as speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives, Rep. Bill Poole (R-Tuscaloosa) has withdrawn his name from the race.

In a statement on Friday, Poole said the time is not right for him to proceed with a campaign.

“After prayer and additional reflection with my family, I have decided that it is not in the best interests of my family for me to pursue the position of Speaker of the House,” he remarked. “While I have a deep and continuing desire to serve the people of Alabama, my first responsibility is to my family.”

He continued, “During this week, as I considered the demands of the Speaker’s position and the sacrifices I would impose on my family by serving in this role, I decided the time with my three young children and my wife is a higher priority. While I feel a strong obligation to serve the people of our state, I place a higher priority on my obligation to my children during these important years in their lives.”

Poole was the first member of his chamber to announce his candidacy for the speaker’s chair. Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainvsille) has subsequently launched his own bid for the position. Rep. Steve Clouse (R-Ozark) could jump in the race in the coming days, sources have told Yellowhammer News.

The Tuscaloosa lawyer has served for several years as chairman of the House Ways and Means Education committee, which is charged with overseeing the state’s $7.7 billion education budget.

In addition, Poole currently chairs the Alabama Innovation Commission, a statewide commission on entrepreneurship, innovation and technology. He is also a member of the State Service Commission, a governor-appointed board leading the Yellowhammer State’s philanthropic and service movement.

Poole was the 2021 recipient of Yellowhammer Multimedia’s Power of Service Award.

“I extend my sincere and heartfelt thanks to everyone that has offered support and encouragement to me, and I will continue to do my very best each and every day to serve our state in my current role,” he concluded.

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia

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