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Beason won't run for GOP chairman

By Phillip Rawls
Associated Press Writer

MONTGOMERY — State Sen. Scott Beason announced Thursday he won't run for state Republican Party chairman, which leaves the governor's choice, state Rep. Mike Hubbard, as the only announced candidate.

The current chairman, Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh, is not seeking another term because she is rejoining Gov. Bob Riley's staff.

She worked for Riley before being elected the state party leader in February 2005.

The State Republican Executive Committee meets Feb. 10 in Montgomery to elect a chairman to lead the party through the 2008 elections.

Beason, a two-term state representative from Gardendale, was elected to the Senate in November.

He had considered getting in the race since before Cavanaugh announced she wouldn't seek another two-year term.

Beason said the birth of his third child, planned for early January, and his new duties in the Senate were factors in his decision not to run.

"I want to make sure I focus on my Senate job," he said in an interview.

Hubbard, R-Auburn, was elected to his third term in the House in November and serves as House minority leader.

He is also chairman of Riley's inaugural committee and has been endorsed by Riley for the party chairmanship.

Hubbard said he is pleased Beason is not running because they have been friends in the Legislature and share the same goal for the party: building a grassroots organization in counties where the party is weak.

"If I am successful, I'd want him to help me build a grassroots effort," Hubbard said Thursday.

At the Alabama Democratic Party, Chairman Joe Turnham of Auburn is nearing the end of his term, too.

Turnham has not yet announced whether he will seek another term when the State Democratic Executive Committee meets in Montgomery on Feb. 9, but he has indicated he is leaning toward it.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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