Hank Sanders will not seek 10th term in Alabama Senate

Published 5:40 pm Saturday, February 10, 2018

After qualifying for reelection in January, Sen. Hank Sanders has decided not to seek a 10th term in office.

The announcement was made Saturday afternoon in a statement issued by Sanders.

“Some time it is time. Some time we do not realize it is time until something special happens. I had thought that I would run to serve one more term in the Alabama State Senate, and I qualified to run in January,” Sanders said.

“However, when I took off 24 hours for our 48th wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago, I began to realize what a heavy load I carry. I realized that when you cannot get 24 hours away except for your wedding anniversary, then it is time to reevaluate. I thought and prayed on it.”

Sanders, 75, has served as Senator for District 23 for 35 years. He was first elected to the seat in 1982.

Sanders said he made the decision not to run Friday, Feb. 9, the last day to qualify for the race.

“I came to the conclusion that I did not want to have to wait for another anniversary over a long period of years to get away for 24 hours,” Sanders said.

Sanders recently wrote a column about taking a day off to spend with his wife, Rose, for their anniversary.

“Faya Rose and I decided that we would gift ourselves with a day off/a day on for our 48th anniversary. We would take a day off from all that which we are involved,” Sanders wrote.

“For me that included the Alabama State Senate, the practice of law, numerous community activities and extensive political work. For Faya Rose, that meant a whole horde of legal and community activities including the annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee. We were also taking a day off from our families.”

“I asked my daughter Malika Sanders-Fortier if she would consider qualifying and running for the Senate District 23 seat. We discussed it, and she said yes,” Sanders said.

According to a list of candidates that have qualified for the election, Sanders-Fortier has qualified. No other candidates besides Sanders and his daughter have qualified for the Democratic or Republican parties, according to each party’s website.

“I felt great because Malika has my spirit. She is a lawyer, a mother, and is dedicated to lifting the community,” Sanders said of his daughter. “I am convinced that she can carry on as well as I could, and I will not have to struggle to take 24 hours for another anniversary or other special occasion.”

Sanders said he will serve out the remainder of this term and he plans to withdraw his name from the race in the coming days.

“I want to express my heartfelt thank you to the people for electing me to serve on so many occasions,” he said. “It has been my honor to serve in the Alabama Senate, and I will continue to serve, even when I am not in elected office.”

The senator has also dealt with a number of health issues over the last couple of years. Sanders spent a few days in the hospital in December after showing signs of a heart condition. He said after he was released from the hospital his health would not affect his ability to serve in the Senate.