By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Wednesday, June 22, Acting House Speaker Victor Gaston (R-Mobile) announced in a statement that he will not be a candidate for the Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives. Rep. Mac McCutcheon (R-Capshaw) announced late on Wednesday that he is running for Speaker of the House.
Acting Speaker Gaston said, “After careful thought and much prayerful consideration, I have decided that I will not be a candidate for Speaker of the House when the Alabama Legislature convenes again. While I am deeply grateful to the constituents, colleagues, friends, and family who have encouraged me to seek the job, I do not feel God calling me in that direction.”
Gaston concluded, “I will continue serving as Speaker Pro Tem and will dedicate my time, efforts, and energies to fulfilling the duties of that position and to representing the citizens of House District 100. In my remaining time as Acting Speaker, I will work to ensure that the daily administrative functions of the House operate smoothly and that the body continues to have a steady hand guiding its course through sometimes turbulent waters.” Gason is 73.
Speaker Pro Tem Gaston automatically moved up to acting Speaker of the House when disgraced former Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) was found guilty of 23 counts of felony ethics violations by a Lee County jury on June 10.
Gaston’s withdrawal could clear a path for powerful Rules Committee Chairman Mac McCutcheon (R-Capshaw) as the two senior statesmen share similar philosophies and style.
Rep. McCutcheon announced his candidacy on Wednesday. Chairman McCutcheon told reporters, “My goal is to lead a legislative process that will promote the interests of all Alabamians so that we can restore honor and integrity to our government.”
State Representative Victor Gaston was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 1982.
Gaston serves on the Rules, Ways and Means General Fund, Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure, and Mobile County Legislative Committees. He also chairs two committees, the House Legislative Council, the Permanent Oil and Gas Study Committee and is the Vice Chair Joint Legislative Council.
Gaston has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, a master’s degree from the University of South Alabama, and a doctoral degree from Auburn University.
He and his wife Jean are the parents of two sons and six grandsons. Gaston is an ordained deacon at Spring Hill Baptist Church. He is very active in his community.
Upon rising to Speaker, Gaston declined the customary state provided security detail.
Rep. Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham) has also announced her candidacy for the Speaker position.