AL School board member Hunter won't run for governor - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

AL School board member Hunter won't run for governor

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MONTGOMERY, AL (AP) -

State Board of Education member Mary Scott Hunter of Huntsville said Thursday that she will run for re-election rather than governor.
    
Hunter announced in June that she was considering challenging Republican Gov. Robert Bentley in the GOP primary next year. She said Thursday that she decided not to run for governor after talking with Bentley. "I feel he is going to be more engaged on education issues. That was important to me," she said.
    
The same week in June that Hunter announced she was considering running, some Huntsville officials questioned whether the Bentley administration was devoting enough highway revenue to traffic problems in the city and surrounding Madison County. In July, Bentley announced $372 million in road and bridge projects, with the largest share, $82.7 million, going to Madison County.
    
Hunter and Bentley have differed on one major issue. She supports the Common Core education standards that are incorporated into Alabama's standards. Bentley opposes them but has been unsuccessful in efforts to get the state school board to repeal them.
    
Hunter said she made the decision to seek re-election before the Madison County Republican Executive Committee passed a resolution Monday night condemning her stance on Common Core. She said the vote is symptomatic of a party transitioning from Alabama's minority to the majority, and of efforts by some in the group to maintain control. "We must agree to disagree with our party on some issues. We must be welcoming," she said.
    
Hunter's decision leaves Bentley and former Morgan County Commissioner Stacy George as the only candidates in the Republican primary, set for June 3, 2014. So far, it's been a lopsided race. Bentley has reported raising more than $1 million in contributions, and George hasn't reported any donations.
    
Hunter, a 40-year-old lawyer and Air Force veteran, said her decision to seek four more years on the state school board was based on her belief that exciting things are about to happen with education in Alabama. "The groundwork is laid to surge in achievement and perhaps become something we never thought we could be - a top education state in the nation," she said.
    
She also left open the possibility that she could run for higher office in her future. "I believe I am building good credentials for opportunities later," she said.

Contributed by Phillip Rawls. Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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