Bachus to retire in 2014 after two decades in U.S. HousePublished 3:04pm Monday, September 30, 2013
By STEPHANIE BRUMFIELD/AMY JONES/NEAL WAGNER/For the Reporter
Congressman Spencer Bachus, R-Alabama, announced Sept. 30 that he will not run for re-election in the U.S. House when his term expires in December 2014.
Bachus, the dean of the Alabama House delegation, said he will not seek re-election after serving 11 terms as the representative for the 6th District, according to a press release from his office. He said he will devote his full energies to his legislative duties and serving his constituents during the remainder of his current term.
“It has been the greatest privilege imaginable to serve as the representative of the people of Alabama in the United States House of Representatives,” Bachus said in a press release. “It is an honor that I never dreamed could have been possible for me and the words ‘thank you’ are far from adequate.”
Bachus also thanked his wife, Linda, and their five children and seven grandchildren for their support during his tenure as a U.S. representative.
“Since I will continue to be the representative for the Sixth District until the end of my term, I do not consider today a ‘goodbye,’” he said. “There is much important work that remains to be done and what I would like to see above anything else before I leave is a spending reduction plan that will put the federal government on a sensible and sustainable financial path going forward.”
Bachus was first elected to the U.S. House in 1992. As chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, he was the first Republican from Alabama to chair a House committee since 1873 and the first Alabamian to chair what was historically known as the Banking Committee since Representative Henry Bascom Steagall in 1931.
In the 113th Congress, Bachus is serving as chairman emeritus of the House Financial Services Committee and chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law.
State Rep. Paul DeMarco, R-Homewood, said he’s known Bachus since DeMarco spent time as a page in the Alabama House of Representatives during his high school years in the early 1980s.
“I appreciate his years of service to the state and to the 6th Congressional District,” DeMarco said Sept. 30.
DeMarco is one of a number of state legislators rumored to be candidates for Bachus’ seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“It would be an honor,” DeMarco said about potentially running for and winning the seat. “I’ve been encouraged by a number of individuals to consider the seat. I’m talking to my family and friends and will make a decision closer to time.”
Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, who currently is serving in the Alabama Senate, said he is keeping an open mind about running for Bachus’ position in the future.
“I’ve gotten a lot of calls and support on this. I’m definitely going to take a look at it and make my decision in the next few days,” Ward said on Sept. 30. “I am going to spend some time talking to my family first before I make a decision. They come first and foremost.
“The bottom line is, where can I be most useful?” Ward added.
State Sen. Slade Blackwell, R-Birmingham, said he is focused on his own job as state senator and working on items for the beginning of the year.
“We should all be thinking about what a great job (Bachus) has done,” Blackwell said Sept. 30. “I’ll get together with my wife and family and talk about this opportunity to see whether it’s something we’ll want to consider.”