- Associated Press - Thursday, February 6, 2014

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama state Sen. Billy Beasley has decided to run for re-election rather than run for governor.

Beasley announced his plans Thursday morning. He says it was a difficult decision, but says he has an obligation to the people in his legislative district.

The Clayton Democrat had considered a bid for governor on a platform of expanding Alabama’s Medicaid program.

Beasley, who is a pharmacist, has criticized Gov. Robert Bentley’s decision not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Beasley says an expansion would create jobs and provide health care to hundreds of thousands of uninsured Alabama residents.

The senator says he hopes a Democrat steps up to challenge Bentley. Major party qualifying ends Friday.

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