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Bedford will not enter governor's race

By Staff
Jonathan Willis
State Sen. Roger Bedford announced Monday that he will not enter the 2010 governor's race.
Bedford has spent much of the past month weighing his options and looking into whether or not entering the race.
"For the last month I've given thoughtful consideration to running for governor," Bedford said in a release Monday.
"But after consultation with my family, and much prayer by all of us, I have decided that I can best serve the people of Alabama as the Senate General Fund chairman and not as a candidate for governor."
Bedford said last week's battles to pass the general fund budget played a key part in his decision.
"That point became abundantly clear to me during the last two days of this legislative session," he said.
"A governor's veto threatened funding for critical programs for our seniors, our children, homeland security and mental health. Most importantly, that veto threatened my personal effort to expand our children's health insurance program to 14,000 more kids. As General Fund chairman, I got the Senate to override that veto and protect all my priorities in the budget, especially the All Kids health insurance program.
"This was a factor that convinced me that, at this time in my professional life and the life of my family, it is best that I remain in the Senate."
Bedford is serving his sixth term in the state Senate and will be seeking re-election in 2010.
Bedford's decision leaves U.S. Rep. Artur Davis and Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks as the only two Democrats to announce their intentions to run for governor. Greenville businessman Tim James, son of former Gov. Fob James, has announced his plans to run on the Republican ticket. Post-secondary chancellor Bradley Byrne is also expected to enter the race as a Republican.
"I appreciate the calls, emails and letters of support that I received from friends and voters in every part of Alabama," Bedford said. "That makes this decision even harder. I will now focus my efforts on keeping a Democratic majority in the Senate and electing a fellow Democrat as the next governor of Alabama."