By CAROLINE BECK Alabama Daily News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Rep. Bill Poole, R-Tuscaloosa, announced on Friday that he’s withdrawing his candidacy for Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives, just a few days after announcing his run.
Poole said in a written statement that after further reflection with his family, he has decided this is not the right time to run for speaker.
“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,” Poole said. “While I have a deep and continuing desire to serve the people of Alabama, my first responsibility is to my family.”
Poole had announced on Wednesday that he intended to seek the position after current Speaker Mac McCutcheon, R-Monrovia, announced he was not planning to run for reelection in 2022 earlier this week.
“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,” Poole said. “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 first elected in 2010 and currently chairs the House Ways and Means Education committee.
Now that Poole has withdrawn, House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter, R-Rainsville, is the only other member who has publicly announced their run for the position.
A few other House members have been rumored to want the position but the process of choosing the next Speaker is still more than a year away.
McCutcheon will remain Speaker for any special sessions Gov. Kay Ivey calls this fall and for the 2022 Regular Session starting in January. A new speaker will be chosen by the House after the November 2022 elections during an organizational session.