As quickly as he entered the gubernatorial race, Mountain Brook-Republican and State Sen. Slade Blackwell has exited it.
Blackwell officially qualified to run for Governor on Friday, the last day to qualify for the Republican and Democratic parties, but then without an explanation withdrew his name on Monday. Alabama Today has confirmed his name has since been removed from the ALGOP’s list of qualified candidates for the governor’s race.
First elected to office to 2010, Blackwell was originally expected to run for reelection to continue to represent Senate District 15, but filed for the gubernatorial race instead. Now, he has missed the deadline to qualify to run for reelection for his current seat.
According to his January 2018 campaign finance report filing, Blackwell has a war chest of $212,049.70 cash on hand. It is unknown what he intends to do with those funds.
Blackwell has not responded to Alabama Today for comment.
In the Alabama State Senate, Blackwell is Chairman of the Banking and Insurance committee, Vice-Chairman of the Job Creation and Economic Development committee and serves on the Health, Confirmations, Education, Business and Labor, Finance & Taxation Education committees.
He currently serves on the board for the Lakeshore Foundation, the Birmingham History Center, the Pinson Education Foundation, the Birmingham Golf Association and the Shelby Arts Council. He is also involved in several organizations throughout the state including the Alabama Republican Party, the Birmingham Business Alliance and several chambers of commerce. Blackwell also serves as a volunteer coach for several youth basketball teams.
Blackwell’s exit leaves five Republican candidates vying for their party’s nomination: Gov. Kay Ivey, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, evangelist Scott Dawson, Mobile-State Sen. Bill Hightower and Michael McAllister.
The Republican primary is scheduled for June 5.