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Rep. Alvin Holmes named dean of Alabama House

MONTGOMERY (AP) — State Rep. Alvin Holmes, the longest-serving member of the Alabama House of Representatives and one of its most outspoken members, has been honored by his colleagues with the honorary title of dean of the House.

A resolution bestowing the title on Holmes passed on a voice vote during the House's recent organizational session. The resolution drew support from members of both parties.

"I'm the oldest in years of service, but not in age," the 66-year-old representative said Monday.

Holmes, D-Montgomery, was first elected to the House in 1974 and has served 32 years. He has been in politics so long that most of his constituents simply call him "Alvin."

The House's resolution noted that during his long service he "has gained national and international respect as a tireless champion of the causes of the poor and disadvantaged."

Holmes said that shortly after his election, he visited then-Gov. George C. Wallace, who told him that if he wanted to be effective, he needed to become an expert on the Legislature's rules and procedures and on the state constitution.

"I studied real hard," Holmes said. "If you don't do that, you are pretty well lost up there."

Holmes often uses those rules to slow down action in the House when he opposes legislation.

Holmes said the proudest achievement of his long career is maintaining a record of honesty. "There has never been a hint of me being involved in public corruption," he said.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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