- Associated Press - Monday, June 5, 2017

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The chairman of the powerful Alabama House Rules Committee announced Monday that he is stepping down from his chairmanship and will not seek re-election next year after two decades in the Legislature.

Republican Rep. Alan Boothe, of Troy, made the announcement in a news release. Boothe said he will serve in the new position of House floor leader. Unlike a partisan floor leader, the news release said that the position will work with both parties “to smooth the flow of legislation in the chamber.”

Boothe said job creation and protecting funding for higher education had been his priorities while in office.

“Representing the citizens of District 89 in the Alabama State House has been one of the greatest honors of my life, and I will always be grateful for the opportunity they provided me to serve,” Boothe said in a statement.

Boothe was first elected to the House in 1998. He was one of several Democrats who switched to the GOP in 2010 soon after Republicans won a majority of both chambers. As rules committee chairman, he led the committee that set each day’s debate agenda and largely determined if bills would get a floor vote.

He took on the role after House Speaker Mac McCutcheon left the committee chairmanship when he was elected speaker.

“His big personality and his wise counsel will leave a lasting imprint on the Alabama House, and his legacy will be felt in the chamber for many years to come,” McCutcheon said in a statement.

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