Local legislators still considering 2014 re-election bids

Published 8:09pm Saturday, July 6, 2013

While the 2014 federal and state elections are still more than a year away, now is the time when candidates currently holding offices are deciding whether they will run for re-election as well as the time when new faces begin to emerge as the campaign season kicks off.

According to the Alabama Secretary of State, there are dozens of offices up for election in 2014 including the office of governor, lieutenant governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, attorney general, state senate (all 35 Districts) and state representatives (all 105 Districts), among several other offices.

Current State Rep. Darrio Melton, who represents the 67th legislative district of Alabama, which includes Dallas County and parts of Perry County, said he hasn’t made a decision yet on whether he will run for the state House or Senate. Melton is currently is his first term as a state house representative and said whichever office he runs for, he knows he’s ready to serve Alabama well.

“Effectively serving the people of Alabama — that’s been very rewarding, to be able to serve and be a voice for the people of Dallas County and the Black Belt,” Melton said. “For me, I just believe that running for office is something that you should take seriously. And to get more to the needs of the people and the needs of the community you need to communicate more, so that’s why I think it’s important to get out (and start campaigning) as soon as you can.”

Melton said he is in the process of raising funds, but hasn’t made any sort of official announcement.

“Right now I’m just in the processes of raising funds to get [my name] out before the election,” he said, hinting that he’s waiting for another elected official to make their move before deciding which office to run for.

“I’m trying to get an idea on what I’m going to do,” Melton said. “You know Sen. [Hank] Sanders is still the sitting senator, and I’m not sure what he’s going to do, so I’m not going to make a decision in regards to that position yet. But I know I will at least be running for re-election for the House seat.”

State Sen. Hank Sanders, who has held a position in the office of the State Senate for nearly 30 years, said he has not yet made a decision on whether he will run for re-election, adding 30 years has been, “far too long.”

“That’s a whole year away, and I haven’t had an opportunity to really look at it,” Sanders said Friday. “When I get time to focus on next year, I’ll be glad to share that.”

Sanders said the thing that’s kept him pursuing his elected seat is the opportunities it affords him to truly help others in the community.

“You really get a chance to help so many more people than you could give help to as a lawyer or as a community person,” Sanders said. “I mean, the opportunities to help others are just unlimited, and I think that has been what’s kept me going.”

While Sanders and Melton are still undecided in their decisions to run for re-election,

Alabama House Rep. David Colston, who represents the 69th legislative district of Alabama, which includes Dallas, Autauga, Lowndes and Wilcox Counties, said he would definitely be running for re-election. However, due to the state’s reapportionment, Colston will be running for a district that will no longer include Dallas County.

“I’ll lose Dallas County and pick up part of Montgomery County,” he said of the 69th district.

Colston is currently in his first term, and said while his district and the Black Belt have struggles, they’re struggles he’s committed to fighting for.

For a full listing of state offices up for election in 2014, visit www.sos.alabama.gov.

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