On the eve of the 2017 regular legislative session for the Alabama State Legislature, Representative Jack Williams (R-47) announced he would not be seeking another term in 2018.
Williams was first elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 2004 to serve District 47, which encompasses portions of Vestavia Hills as well as parts of Hoover.
Williams said he first had an idea that this would be his last term during the 2014 election, but said he wanted to give things adequate time to settle down before he made a final decision.
He said that after giving the issue ample thought, he feels comfortable saying there are other opportunities he wants to pursue, and he doesn't think those are in Montgomery.
He will, however, finish out his current term.
In that time, he said he will continue to battle the state's recent budget troubles, something he thinks his eventual successor will also have to deal with.
“Whoever succeeds me is going to have that issue,” he said.
One thing he said he wants to focus on, and wants whoever follows him to focus on, is the stagnant population growth he said the state, and in particular, Jefferson County continues to see.
With the greater Birmingham area comprising a large amount of the state's overall GDP and contributions tax revenue, Williams said he along with other legislators are trying to focus on efforts to "come back" to Birmingham and the over-the-mountain areas.
"There's opportunity here," he said, "and we need to build all those opportunities."
Williams said he also expects legislation later in the session that will address the growing opiate-addiction problems he said the state is seeing.
“The cost of doing nothing is too great,” he said, addressing the growing number of drug overdoses in the state and the strain it puts on both families and the healthcare system.
Even though he thinks his time in Montgomery is coming to an end, Williams said that he is keeping an open mind with regard to public service elsewhere, and that he is aware of potential opportunities in politics outside of the state capitol.
For now though, he said he just wanted to focus on serving his constituents, and thanking them for their support over the last 12 years.
“I’m really grateful for just the honor to serve in this capacity,” he said.