Flowers could bid for senate

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 10, 2002

News Editor

Former state Representative Steve Flowers is considering switching from his bid for the secretary of state’s office to an open Senate seat.

Flowers, formerly of Troy, now lives in Hoover and said he has strongly considered a run for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Bill Armistead (R-Columbiana). Armistead is running for lieutenant governor.

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Flowers had originally said he would make up his mind about seeking the Senate seat by Saturday, Feb. 9, which was when the Alabama Republican Party opened candidate qualifying. In a telephone interview Friday morning, Flowers said he has now decided to wait until after Saturday’s qualifying to see how things develop before he makes his decision.

"I’m still officially in the secretary of state race," said Flowers. "The reason I am looking at switching is because that Senate seat really has more influence than the lieutenant governor’s office or the secretary of state does. I have had a lot of people in the business community urging me to run for the Senate seat."

If Flowers decides to switch from the secretary of state race to the Senate race, Assistant Attorney General Troy King will be the lone Republican candidate seeking the position. Democrats seeking to fill the secretary of state seat vacated by Republican Jim Bennett are Nancy Worley and Chris Pitts.

Flowers served in the Alabama House of Representatives from 1982 to 1998, when he decided not to seek re-election. While serving in the House, he gained a reputation for being a conservative and pro-business voter.

A main point in his bid for the secretary of state position is a call for honest elections in Alabama. During his time in the House he co-sponsored a voter identification bill, which is a key issue in his current campaign.

In 1982, Flowers was first elected to public office at age 30, representing Pike County in the state House of Representatives. He set a record in his first race by getting the largest number of votes ever cast for a single candidate in Pike County. He was re-elected by a huge majority four times.

While serving as a lawmaker, Flowers was a primary sponsor of legislation that made changes in the state’s civil liability laws, known as tort reform.