By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—In a surprise announcement, one-term State Representative Wes Long (R-Guntersville) says he will not seek reelection to House District 27.
Long, a favorite of Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, told television station WAFF that he was not running due to family considerations.
However, in the last three months, Long has received big money from Hubbard and Former Governor Bob Riley for his reelection campaign.
In the last few months, Hubbard and Riley alone gave Long $20,000 toward his 2014 campaign.
Just last week, the Alabama 2014 PAC, controlled by Hubbard and Riley, gave Long $15,000.
In fact, when Hubbard closed his prize political action committee, Network PAC, Long was one of the main recipients.
Other big players to invest in Long’s reelection where the Retailers of Alabama, payday lenders and big tobacco. He also received money from Hubbard-backer Jimmy Rane, the Yella Fella.
In October, Long spent almost $1000 for advertising.
Long joins the growing list of incumbent Republicans who have either resigned their office early to become lobbyists or have decided not to seek reelection for “family reasons.”
Long is also a member of the powerful House Ways and Means General Fund Committee whose Chairman Jim Barton recently resigned his seat to become a lobbyist.
Long defeated popular democrat Jeff McLaughlin in the 2010 republican sweep of the State House.
However, Long has not always been well received in his district. Long’s hometown newspaper, the Sand Mountain Reporter, wrote of the freshman legislator in 2012, “I’ve worked with a lot of politicians in my career. None have been as intellectually intelligent and as politically stupid as Wes Long… At every turn Long, a rookie who is in his first term in Montgomery, shoots himself in the foot.”
Long said he wanted to leave out on top, but many questions remain as to why a favorite of the Speaker’s is bailing so soon.