Bachus spent more than $1.5 million, by far the biggest campaign outlay in his career, and defeated Beason and Standridge with more than 60 percent of the vote. He then defeated Democratic challenger Penny Bailey by better than a 2-to-1 margin.
The announcement by Bachus came as a surprise to many within the state GOP apparatus, including Beason — who got the news from a neighbor as he was walking in his neighborhood Monday morning.
“I finished my walk and my phone was going like a window shade with text messages and phone calls whizzing by. The phone was just continually vibrating on the table,” Beason said.
“As far as making a decision about running for Congress, that’s something I had not been thinking about at all for a while. I am considering it — you’ve got to weigh your options. That’s kind of a part answer, but I just found out [about this]. It’s amazing — usually these things start leaking out ahead of time. But most people are surprised.”
Beason had no idea why his one-time opponent made the decision not to run again. “I have to give him credit for doing this in the right way. It’s give plenty of people who might be interested the opportunity to run. I wish him the best,” Beason added.
A host of other local GOP figures are possible candidates. Standridge will not be one of them; since losing the 2012 race against Bachus, he was voted to fill the state house’s 34th District seat in a special election.
Standridge was on his way to Montgomery to meet with Gov. Robert Bentley when he found out. "I was very surprised by the decision," he said. "I gave it some thought when I found out, and I've been receiving phone calls throughout the day, but right now I do not plan on running."