AlabamaElections Exclusive: Zeb Little NOT running for re-election
A couple of days ago I mentioned the speculation surrounding Little's upcoming "new announcement". Since Little is a leader in the State Senate and has harbored statewide ambitions, his announcement could have gone any different number of directions. However, I have enough information at this point to say that I expect him to announce that he will not stand for re-election. I don't know all the details about why he is retiring and at this point I am not going to speculate without knowing the specifics.
Little's retirement will set of a scramble within the state legislature. I expect State Rep Neal Morrison (D-Cullman) to run for the Senate seat and to be the candidate to beat. Republican leaders will probably try to push aside Winston County GOP Chair Harold Sachs, who has been running for the Senate seat for months, in favor of a stronger candidate. Yet whether or not a stronger Republican will emerge or whether the GOP would be able to unify around him is difficult to say at this point.
Assuming Neal Morrison does run for Little's Senate seat, then Morrison's open house seat would be a prime target for the House GOP. Morrison's seat, while certainly competitive, leans GOP on the state and national level and Democrats would need to find a strong candidate in order to hold the seat.
Little's retirement also dramatically alters the leadership calculus in the State Senate. Little is currently the Majority Leader, which is the #2 position in the Senate, and was widely expected to lead the "Barron" wing ,if as expected, Barron doesn't have the votes to remain President pro tem after the 2006 elections. I wouldn't expect Little to resign the Majority Leader's post, but there will definitely be a struggle within the Barron faction to determine who will fill the vacuum left by Little.
I am not sure when Little will announce his retirement (maybe today, maybe next week), but remember when he does that you heard it here first.