North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

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February 7, 2014

Updated: Beason jumps into Congressional race; seven candidates running for his state Senate seat

HOOVER — After bowing out of running again for his state Senate seat, Scott Beason is back in the political fray.

Beason filed late Friday afternoon to run for the Sixth District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, which is being vacated by the retiring Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Vestavia Hills).

Beason filed his papers at the Alabama Republican Party headquarters in Hoover at about 3:45 Friday, a little more than an hour before the deadline. He joins a crowded field of seven candidates which includes State Rep. Paul DeMarco (R-Homewood), the only one currently holding elected office.

Beason told reporters afterward that he had not made the final decision to enter the race until Friday morning.

“Leaving the Senate [race} kind of allowed me to clear my mind and focus on deciding about this race,” he said.

It's the second time the Gardendale conservative has run for Congress. Two years ago, Beason took on Bachus in the primary, along with two other challengers. All lost to the incumbent by a wide margin.

But Bachus' decision to bow out opened the field to a wide ranger of contenders. They include:

  • DeMarco, one of the top Republicans in the state legislature's lower chamber;

  • Will Brooke, an executive with Harbert Management Corporation in Birmingham;

  • Robert Shattuck, a Birmingham attorney;

  • Tom Vignuelle, a Pelham businessman;

  • Chad Mathis, a doctor from Indian Springs;

  • Gary Palmer, founder of the Alabama Policy Institute, a conservative think tank.

Of that group, Beason probably has the best name recognition of all, but some of that recognition comes with political baggage. Besides being an outspoken lightning rod for conservative causes such as illegal-immigration enforcement and opposition to Common Core education initiatives, he also gained fame for wearing a concealed recording device to aid federal prosecutors in their investigation of bribery and corruption among state lawmakers regarding the legalization of electronic-bingo gambling.

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