Flowers returns to politics with bid for PSC

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Veteran legislator, political columnist and television personality Steve Flowers of Troy tossed his hat in ring in typical old Southern politics style Wednesday morning at Troy City Hall.

Flowers officially announced that he will be a candidate for Place 2 on the Public Service Commission in the June 3 Republican Primary before an audience packed with public officials and other Pike County movers and shakers.

True to form, Flowers opened with, “Let me tell you a story” and followed with a story about colorful, two-time Alabama governor, “Big Jim” Folsom.

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Flowers enjoys telling stories about Alabama’s political figures and especially those who have impacted his political career.

“One of my political mentors told me to always ask people to vote for you and I’m here asking all of you to vote for me,” Flowers said, and then, laughingly, addressed Troy City Councilmember DeJerilyn Henderson who is a Democrat and suggested that she “might want to cross over.”

Flowers said that as a member of the PSC, he pledges to do two things – keep utility rates affordable and go after quality industries by offering utility rates that will assist industries in being successful.

Brundidge Mayor Jimmy Ramage said serving on the PSC will fit Flowers like a glove.

“Steve’s a natural for it,” Ramage said. “Having been in the Legislature and working with industrial development, Steve understands how utilities help small and large businesses and the consumer. The more money that people have after they pay their utilities, the more disposable income they have.”

Ramage said some people are “in” politics but Flowers is a student of politics.

“He loves politics and he’ll work for us and keep things interesting. I’m glad to see him back in the arena.”

Pike County Commissioner Robin Sullivan said he has known Flowers for years.

“He is a good historian of Alabama politics and is upstanding in all that he does,” Sullivan said. “I’m proud to have someone from our area running for the PSC. We don’t have a representative and it will be beneficial for us to be represented on the Commission.”

Pike County Probate Judge Wes Allen said having a Pike County native in a statewide race only benefits the county.

“Steve’s involvement in statewide politics will have a positive impact, not only for Alabama but also for Pike County,” Allen said. “I have known Steve for a long time, value his friendship and have enjoyed reading his insightful articles in the newspaper. Steve is a hard worker who will do very well and I wish him the best.”

Flowers; weekly political column appears in more than 70 publications and he hosts both a weekly television and radio show. He also teaches Alabama and Southern Politics at Troy University.

Flowers was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1982 at age 30. In that race he received the most votes cast for any candidate in the history of his native Pike County. He was re-elected four times and served 16 years. He left the House undefeated and uncontested. Flowers chose not to seek re-election in 1998.

During his legislative career, Flowers maintained one of the most conservative voting records among his peers. He was the sponsor and author of the historic tort reform legislation passed in the 1980s.

Flowers earned the reputation as being one of Alabama’s most pro-business legislators. He was honored by the Alabama Farmers’ Federation with their highest honor, the Outstanding Service to Agriculture Award. He was also honored by the National Federation of Independent Business with their highest award.

During his tenure in the House, Flowers sustained a perfect attendance record for 16 consecutive years. In 1992, he was voted by his colleagues as the most outstanding member of the Alabama House of Representatives.