North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

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January 31, 2014

Scott Beason says he won't run again for Senate seat (updated)

Still won't rule out Congressional run; says he's in "one-decision-at-a-time mode"

GARDENDALE — State Sen. Scott Beason, the Gardendale Republican who's been a favorite of the conservative Tea Party wing of the party, has made a surprise announcement that he will not seek re-election to the 17th District.

Beason made the announcement in a press release sent from his campaign email account late Friday afternoon. He cited “personal convictions” as his reason for not running again.

“It is time for this chapter in my life to come to a close, and it is such a strange feeling,” Beason said in the prepared statement. “I have been in a hard-fought campaign every four years since 1994. When I first ran for the legislature I was 24 years old, and now 20 years later when I finally have the chance to run without opposition, I feel led to step away. It almost doesn’t seem real.”

When reached by The North Jefferson News on Friday evening, Beason confirmed the decision, but would only add to his reasons, “This is where God was leading us.”

On January 8, Beason told the NJN that he was “95 percent sure” he would be running for re-election to his Senate seat. That remark came at the Mt. Olive Community Center, after a forum sponsored by a group opposing efforts to annex Mt. Olive into Gardendale. It was in reply to a reporter's question about whether he was planning to run for the Sixth District seat in the U.S. Congress, which is being vacated by the retiring Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Vestavia Hills.

Beason did not address the Congressional race either directly or indirectly in his press statement Friday, and would not elaborate on that race further when asked later. “I really am in one-decision-at-a-time-mode here,” he said.

Beason ran against Bachus in the GOP primary two years ago, but was beaten easily by the incumbent. He was the top-finishing challenger; David Standridge, who now represents the 34th District in the Alabama House of Representatives, placed third.

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