Longtime State Rep Dead at 66
Here are just a couple of examples of Venable's colleagues immense respect for him:
Mac Gipson (R-Prattville) : "I'm just heartsick, heartbroken and my heartfelt sympathies go to the family, his district and for the state," he said. "Jack Venable was a strict constitutionalist and my mentor. He helped me immensely because we shared Elmore County."
Seth Hammett (D-Andalusia): "Jack was one of the greatest statesmen to ever serve in the Alabama Legislature," "He was one of the finest people I ever met and a very close friend."
Alvin Holmes (D-Montgomery): "He was one of the most brilliant people I've ever served with as it relates to parliamentary procedures, rules and the legislative process. He had integrity and his word was always good,"
Both the Decatur Daily and Montgomery Advertiser have more details on Venable and his legacy.
Though there will be political machinations in the days to come involving, I'd expect those to begin in earnest only after the Tuesday funeral.
A special election will be necessary and while Bob Riley will have the final decision on the timeline, generally it takes around 5 months to fill a vacancy.
This 31st District is comprised of Democratic leaning Coosa county and GOP dominant Elmore county. It will be a challenge for Democrats to hold this district, and some in the party are likely to encourage Venable's widow or one of his two sons to run.
I'll look more into the political realities of this sad situation in the days to come, but this is a time to remember a legislative legend.