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Ivey swears in Bill Poole as state finance director

Ivey also announced dates for the special election in House District 63 to fill Poole’s former House seat.

Gov. Kay Ivey swore in new Finance Director Bill Poole Monday Aug. 2, 2021, in Montgomery, Alabama. (Governor's Office/Hal Yeager)

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey on Monday swore in former state Rep. Bill Poole, R-Tuscaloosa, as Alabama’s state finance director and announced the dates for the special election in House District 63 to fill Poole’s former Alabama House seat.

“Bill Poole is one of the most gifted public servants Alabama has seen in many years and his exceptional leadership qualities, and the respect he commands on both sides of the aisle in the Alabama Legislature, makes him uniquely qualified to serve as Alabama’s next finance director,” Ivey said. “His detailed focus on education funding demonstrates a depth of knowledge in our state’s budget process that few can match and his passion for advancing good public policy gives him an added platform to help me and my administration continue to seek out new solutions to solving many of Alabama’s long-neglected challenges.  I’m more than pleased he agreed, once-again, to serve our state in this new role, and I know he will do a bang-up job.”

State Finance Director Kelly Butler retired due to health issues.

“I am excited to accept this new role and embrace this new challenge, and I will continue to do my very best on behalf of the state of Alabama,” Poole said.  “As the governor and others have said, Kelly Butler set a high bar for dedicated service, integrity and transparency during his 30-plus years of public service. I am grateful to have Kelly’s full support going forward which will help ensure a smooth transition.”

Ivey also announced dates for the special election in House District 63.

Ivey set the special primary election for Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. The special primary runoff, if necessary, will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, and the special general election will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022.

“While I know the state will gain.  immense benefit of Rep. Poole serving as our new State Finance Director, he is leaving big shoes to fill in HD – 63,” Ivey said. “Today’s announcement will ensure the good people in this district find a qualified individual to represent their interests in Montgomery as soon as possible.”

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The deadline for qualifying with one of the two major political parties will be Friday, Aug. 17, 2021, at 5 p.m. The deadline for qualifying as an independent candidate and/or minor party candidate is Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, at 5 p.m.

House District 63 includes portions of Tuscaloosa, Northport and greater Tuscaloosa County.

Poole was recently a member of the Alabama House of Representatives and has served as the House Ways and Means education chairman, the committee that oversees the Education Trust Fund for the last eight years. The nearly $8 billion budget oversees the funding for K-12 education, community colleges, public universities and various education-related agencies and programs.

The ETF is the larger of Alabama’s two budgets and handles appropriations for workforce development initiatives as well as tax-credit programs for economic development. 

Poole was also chairman of Innovate Alabama, a statewide commission charged with developing a long-term strategy to expand Alabama’s already robust economy in bold, new ways.

Poole is a native of Marengo County. He was first elected to House District 63 in 2010 as part of the Republican wave election that gave the GOP control of both Houses of the Alabama legislature for the first time in over 135 years. Poole has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama and a law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law, he has worked in private practice since 2004. He has previously worked for the Committee on Ways and Means in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.

Poole and his wife, Niccole, have three children.

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Whoever is ultimately elected in February in the HD63 special election will serve the remaining nine months of Poole’s term and will have to run again in the 2022 election for their own four-year term. The major party primaries for the 2022 election will be on May 24, 2022.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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