State Rep. Jimmy Martin of Clanton passes away
Longtime State Rep. Jimmy Martin (R-Clanton) passed away on Friday morning after a battle with cancer.
Upon hearing the news, Governor Kay Ivey directed flags to be flown at half-staff on the grounds of the Alabama State Capitol complex and in Autauga and Chilton counties to honor Martin’s life and dedicated service to his community.
“Alabama has truly lost a good man and statesman,” Ivey said in a statement. “His many years of service to the people of Autauga and Chilton counties have made a lasting impact on the future of the entire state.”
The news came on what is expected to be the final day of the Alabama legislature’s 2019 regular session. Martin, the representative for district 42, had been ill most of the session.
“As we enter in the final moments of this Legislative Session, let us remember the contributions that Representative Martin made throughout his tenure,” Ivey concluded. “His presence in the Alabama House of Representatives will be greatly missed. I offer my prayers to his family during this difficult time of loss.”
Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) on Thursday evening had asked members of the House to pray for Martin and his family, saying his health condition had become critical.
Tributes, including a moment of silence and prayer, were held for Martin on Friday morning as the House began its legislative day.
Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) also released a statement on behalf of the members of the Alabama House Republican Caucus.
He emphasized, “The members of the House Republican Caucus are saddened to learn of the passing of our friend and colleague, Rep. Jimmy Martin, but we are buoyed by the knowledge that he is free of his cancer and reaping God’s promised reward for a life well-lived.”
Martin, 80, served in the House as a Democrat from 1998-2010. He was elected as a Republican in 2014 and re-elected in November.
“Because of the institutional knowledge that resulted from his 17 years as a member of the House, Jimmy was a great resource for all of us to call upon, but more valuable than his knowledge were the smiles, pats on the back, and words of encouragement that he constantly offered to House members on both sides of the aisle,” Ledbetter said.
“All of us will miss Jimmy’s reassuring presence, and his constituents will miss the leadership and devoted service he provided to them in the committee rooms, corridors, and chambers of the Alabama State House,” the majority leader concluded. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family he leaves behind as we offer prayers for their solace and comfort.”
My prayers are with the family of Rep. Jimmy Martin, representative of Alabama’s State District 42. Jimmy truly cared for the people he served and took his public office seriously. He represented Clanton, Chilton Co, and all of District 42 very well and he will be missed. #AL06
— Gary Palmer (@USRepGaryPalmer) May 31, 2019
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn