MONTGOMERY, ala. (AP) — Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said Wednesday that he will not run for any elected office next year because of poor choices he made that impacted his family.
“I will not be a candidate because of choices I have made and the decisions I have made that were not in the best interest of me or my family,” Merrill, 57, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. Merrill told al.com that he had an inappropriate relationship with a woman outside his marriage.
Merrill announced his decision in a statement issued from his office. The announcement ended speculation that Merrill, often viewed as having higher political ambitions, might run for the U.S. Senate or another position next year.
The Republican politician said after “much prayer, reflection, and conversations with my wife, Cindy, I have decided that I will not be a candidate for any office in 2022.”
“Life presents us with a series of chapters, some more challenging than others, in our book of life, and when one finishes, another one begins. While I remain fully committed to continuing my service as your secretary of state through the end of my term, I do not know what the next chapter will present for me and my family,” Merrill said in a statement.
Merrill had served in the Alabama House of Representatives before being elected secretary of state in 2014.
In 2019, Merrill announced a run for U.S. Senate, but dropped out of the race after Jeff Sessions entered the field to try to reclaim his seat.