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Hammon retiring from politics | Decatur

MONTGOMERY — State Rep. Micky Hammon, first elected in 2002 and perhaps best known for a controversial anti-illegal immigration law passed in 2011, is not seeking a fifth term in the Alabama House of Representatives.

Hammon, R-Decatur, said he’ll retire from public office after the 2018 legislative session.

“Now that Republicans have implemented the reforms necessary to take Alabama to the next level, I think it’s time to turn my seat over to the next generation of leaders, who will carry us into the future with fresh perspectives and new ideas,” Hammon said in a statement Tuesday.

Hammon was the sponsor of House Bill 56, the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, much of which was subsequently struck down by courts. But Hammon said other portions of it remain in place and serve as a template for President Donald Trump’s administration in its efforts to curb immigration, Hammon said.

One provision of Hammon’s bill withholds state funds from cities, towns and municipalities that declare themselves “sanctuary cities.” Earlier this year, Trump signed an executive order that mirrors the provision by withholding federal grants and other types of aid from sanctuary areas sheltering illegal immigrants across the country.

Hammon hasn’t sponsored much legislation since the immigration bill, saying he was focusing on his role as majority leader.

“Micky was instrumental in the Republican takeover of the Legislature that occurred in 2010,” said Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur. “While serving as majority leader in the House of Representatives, Rep. Hammon made positive things happen for his district and the state. He was always approachable and worked well with other legislators. His presence will be missed in the Legislature, and we are grateful for his service.”

Hammon was the House majority leader from 2011 until February of this year, stepping down a week after his leadership was publicly questioned by fellow Morgan County Rep. Ed Henry, R-Hartselle. Henry in February said the House GOP caucus was completely divided. Henry attempted to oust Hammon from the majority leader spot in 2016, too.

Hammon served most of his leadership role under former Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, who was removed from office in June 2016 after he was convicted of 12 felony ethics code violations.

Hammon previously served as chairman of the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee and as vice chairman of the House Republican Caucus.

House District 4 includes portions of Morgan and Limestone counties.

So far, Republican Tom Fredricks, owner of Fredricks Outdoor, is the only candidate who’s filed paperwork with the Secretary of State for a 2018 campaign for the seat.

“Public service requires a great deal of time and effort by the officeholder, but it also demands a good bit of sacrifice by their family members,” Hammon said. “My wife and children have my deepest gratitude for putting up with the family events I missed and the weeks I was away from home while serving in Montgomery. Their love and support has sustained me throughout my legislative service.”

Last month, several area lawmakers told this newspaper they were still deciding if they’d run again in 2018.

Henry has said he is not running for his seat or any others in 2018.

Orr, Rep. Danny Crawford, R-Athens, and Rep. Randall Shedd, R-Cullman, said they plan to run.

Rep. Marcel Black, D-Tuscumbia, who represents part of Lawrence County, announced earlier this month he’s not seeking re-election. Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow, D-Red Bay, is running for the state Senate.

In other parts of the state, Reps. Mike Millican, R-Westport, Alan Harper, R-Northport, and Alan Boothe, R-Troy, are not seeking re-election.

Candidates don’t have to qualify with their parties until February.

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