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It's a no go for Jo

It is a no go for Jo.

U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner this afternoon announced he would not be a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor in 2010, ending months of speculation about his political plans.

“Over the past several months, countless people from all corners of our state have encouraged me to run for governor next year," Bonner said in a press release. "Without question, the strong words of encouragement and, in many instances, the generous offers of support for a statewide campaign have not only been flattering but extremely humbling as well.”

“But after a lot of serious thought and consideration, as well as many heartfelt prayers, (his wife) Janée and I have concluded that now is simply not the right time to launch a statewide campaign.”

According to Bonner, he can best serve south Alabama and the entire state by continuing to represent Alabama's First District in Congress.

"To that end, I fully intend to seek reelection to Congress in the 2010 election cycle," Bonner continued.

“Our country is facing some serious economic challenges, we are still fighting on two battlefields in the ‘war on terror’ and southwest Alabama has not been immune from either of these two facts.” 

“Working closely with Gov. (Bob) Riley over the past six years, we have brought many historic economic development opportunities to southwest Alabama. But the national – and global – economic stress has had a significant impact on many families who live in Alabama’s First Congressional District, and I believe I can best focus my attention on fulfilling the promise of some of these projects if I am not dividing my time between being a full-time congressman and traveling through all 67 counties as a candidate for governor.”

Bonner recently claimed a coveted spot on the House Appropriations Committee, an assignment given his relative youth and the history of the district suggesting Bonner's future in Congress held much power and influence.

“Tomorrow I will join a small delegation from Congress who will be traveling internationally to focus on our national security interests abroad," Bonner added. "Thousands of families from all across Alabama continue to share in the sacrifice of protecting our great country during these dangerous times.  I am looking forward to not only getting a first-hand update on the progress being made, but I am excited, once again, about offering our genuine thanks to these brave, unselfish men and women who put their lives on the line for us every day.”

The rigors of a statewide campaign on his family -- the Bonners have two children, a 13-year-old daughter, Lee, and an almost 11-year-old son, Robins -- was an unfair burden to ask, according to Bonner.

Bonner's statement concluded:

“In closing, allow me to offer my deepest gratitude to the hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of people who have called, written and otherwise encouraged me to consider this race. Neither Congress – as an institution – nor politics – as a chosen profession – are highly regarded by most people these days. And yet, over the past several months, I cannot begin to describe the truly humbling feeling that has come when people from all walks of life and from all areas of our great state, have encouraged me to run for governor.”

“It goes without saying but it is absolutely vital to Alabama’s future that we elect someone next year who will build on the successful foundation that has been laid by Gov. Bob Riley. Without exception, Bob has been the best governor in our state’s history. He and Patsy represent us with class, with integrity and with determination that our state is finally on a new path toward greatness. Over the next few months, I hope we can all rally around the person who is best able to continue the Riley agenda and extend the Riley legacy.”

Greenville businessman Tim James is the only announced candidate. A Republican, he is the son of former Gov. Fob James. Other Republicans said to be considering a run include state Treasurer Kay Ivey, junior college Chancellor Bradley Byrne and Troy University President Jack Hawkins. Talk of the possible Democratic field is largely concentrated on U.S. Rep. Artur Davis, who has all but officially announced, Lt. Gov. Jim Folsom Jr. and state Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks.
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