By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter
State Sen. Hank Sanders, D-Selma, is leaving the Alabama Senate after serving 9 terms in the upper chamber.
Sanders, who had qualified to run, made the decision last-minute through a press release saying “Some times it is time.”
“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.”
Sanders’ departure from the Senate marks the first time his seat, Senate District 23, has been open since 1982 when Sanders won his first term. The Selma senator is the longest serving member of the Alabama Senate.
In the release Sanders also announced that his daughter, Malika Sanders-Fortier, would run for the seat as a Democrat.
“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 of the decision.
The latest list from the Alabama Republican Party shows no candidate qualified to run for the seat on Friday, the last day to qualify.
Sanders-Fortier is running uncontested from any Democrat and will run unopposed by a Republican during the November election.
The senator’s decision is just one of many state senators who decided to not seek another term. Sanders is the only Democrat in the Senate to not seek re-election.