By CAROLINE BECK, Alabama Daily News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Democratic State Sen. Priscilla Dunn won’t be running for reelection in 2022 and at least two current state representatives plan on running for the vacant seat.
Dunn’s husband, Grover Dunn, told Alabama Daily News on Monday that his wife would be retiring after finishing her last year in office.
“We both will be turning 78 in October and we’ve both just decided its time to retire,” Dunn said.
Dunn has been absent for most of the current quadrennium, which began in 2019, due to health-related reasons. She has held the Senate District 19 seat since 2009 and also served in the House from 1998 to 2009.
Alabama House Rep. Louise Alexander, D-Bessemer, told ADN on Monday that she plans on running for the Senate seat next year.
Alexander currently represents House District 56 and was first elected to the seat in 2014. She says her ability to work effectively with anyone will be put to better use in the smaller chamber.
“I’m the type of person who can work across the room with anybody and I feel like once you’ve got a bill that you may not agree on, you go to the person who sponsors that bill and tell them what you do and don’t like about the bill and you work it out,” Alexander said. “That’s the type of person I am and I could do a lot of that with 34 upstairs versus with 104 in the House.”
There are 35 members of the Senate and 105 members of the House of Representatives.
Alexander said she will formally announce her campaign next week.
Rep. Merika Coleman, who represents House District 57, also announced Tuesday morning that she will be running for the Senate seat.
For the past two years, the number one question I have heard people asking is: “Is Merika Coleman running for Alabama State Senate District 19”?
View my answer by watching the video! For more about Merika Coleman , volunteering, & supporting our cause at https://t.co/7kilQ1BoLa pic.twitter.com/SBd2y2ebw0
— Rep. Merika Coleman, M.P.A., J.D. (@RepColeman) July 20, 2021
Rep. Rod Scott, D-Fairfield, who represents House District 55 told ADN he has been considering running for the Senate seat but has not officially decided yet. He said he wants to wait to see what happens during the redistricting process later this year before deciding to run.
Dunn was one of the two missing votes needed to pass the comprehensive gambling legislation considered in the Senate earlier this year, the other vote being Sen. Malika Sanders-Fortier, D-Selma, who was also absent due to illness. A revised bill later passed the Senate but died in the House.
Senate District 19 consists of multiple cities just west of Birmingham, including Bessemer, Fairfield, Pleasant Grove and Hueytown.