MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Tuesday, the Alabama House Republicans unanimously selected Mac McCutcheon, R-Huntsville, as their nominee for Speaker of the House to replace former speaker Mike Hubbard.
A statement from the group said its 70 members decided by acclimation to back McCutcheon when legislators begin a special session on Aug. 15. The group said more than one round of voting was held, but no details were
released. The move virtually guarantees that McCutcheon will succeed Hubbard, who was automatically removed from office after being convicted of multiple felony ethics charges. The session will be held without Hubbard, who was convicted on charges of soliciting lobbyists and business executives for work and money. A judge sentenced Hubbard to four years in prison, but Hubbard is appealing and remains free.
So, who is the man that will likely replace the ousted Hubbard? According to a press release from the Alabama press, McCutcheon currently serves as a chairman of the House Rules Committee, which sets the daily work agenda for the House. He was named chairman of the committee by Hubbard in 2009.
McCutcheon’s role as speaker is all but official, as the Republicans current hold the supermajority in the Alabama House. The nominee is a retired law enforcement officer who served in the Huntsville Police Department, where he worked in several areas such as hostage negotiation, investigating major crimes, and a probation officer. In addition to his 25-year stint with the Huntsville PD, McCutcheon also worked as a farmer and as an associate pastor. He is a U.S. Army veteran, father of two, and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Trinity University.
McCutcheon has sponsored legislation to legalize the home brewing of wine and beer, co-sponsored the Alabama Renewal Act along with State Senator Greg Reed, R-Jasper, as well as legislation in March of 2015 designed to generate revenue to invest in Alabama roads and bridges. He chairs the Legislature’s Joint Transportation committee, as well as a 9-member task force created to examine the activities of the Alabama Department of Human Resources.
The Associated Press contributed to this report