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State Rep. Howard Sanderford to retire from Alabama House after 33 years

Sanderford, R-Huntsville, was first elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in a 1989 special election.

State Rep. Howard Sanderford

State Rep. Howard Sanderford, R-Huntsville, who was first elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in a 1989 special election, announced on Monday that he will not be a candidate for reelection during the 2022 campaign cycle.

“Representing the citizens of Huntsville and Madison County for almost 33 years has been the honor of a lifetime, but my heart tells me this is the time to step aside and allow someone else to take the reins of leadership,” Sanderford said.  “I will leave the Legislature with the knowledge that Alabama is a better place to live, work, and raise a family than it was when I first took office more than three decades ago.”

Sanderford currently serves as chairman of the House Boards, Agencies, and Commissions Committee and co-chairs the Joint Legislative Sunset Committee, which is tasked with overseeing, reviewing, and renewing roughly 100 occupational licensure boards and other agencies across Alabama.

A member of the Sunset Committee since 1994, he recently passed into law House Bill 561, which has helped countless small businesses that require occupational licenses to better react to staffing shortages and other unexpected personnel issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sanderford also holds seats on the House Constitution, Campaign and Elections; Internal Affairs; Technology and Research; and Madison County Legislation committees.

He chairs the Alabama Legislative Medal of Honor for Law Enforcement, which holds an annual joint session of the House and Senate in order to recognize and award officers who risk their lives to protect and rescue others, and, as a member of the Alabama Space Authority, Sanderford has been deeply involved in organizing the NASA Day held at the State House each year.

For more than 30 years, Sanderford has represented Alabama on the executive board of the Southern Legislative Conference, which is comprised of presiding officers and key legislators from 15 southern states and serves as the premier public policy forum for state legislators within the region.

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Sanderford also serves on the executive committee of the Southern States Energy Board, an interstate compact composed of governors and state legislators from sixteen southern states, two territories, and a presidential appointee, which is tasked with enhancing economic development and the quality of life in the South through innovations in energy and environmental policies, programs, and technologies.

Prior to his election to the Alabama House, Sanderford spent his professional career with IBM and served as the corporation’s manager of the General Systems Division in Huntsville until his retirement in 1987.  He later founded and operated Computer Leasing Company, Inc. in Huntsville.

Active in his community, Sanderford is a member of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center Board of Directors, past president of the Huntsville Rotary Club, past chair and member of the Volunteers of America of North Alabama Board, past vice president of the Metropolitan YMCA Board, and past co-chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Free Enterprise Committee. Other areas of service include the United Way Corporate Giving Program, Boy Scout Creek District Finance Chairman, and Alabama Management Improvement Program.

He previously served for seven years as chairman of the Madison County Republican Executive Committee.

After graduating from Mississippi State University with a degree in accounting, Sanderford served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and participated in the Beirut, Lebanon landing in 1958.  He is a member of the Marine Corps League, the Military Order of World Wars, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion Post 237, and the Military Officers Association of America.

A former deacon, finance committee chair, youth Sunday school teacher, and director at First Baptist Church in Huntsville, Sanderford and his wife, Dot, have three daughters, four grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, and a step-great-grandson.

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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