Runner-up for ASU presidency, Sen. Quinton Ross announces re-election plans

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Sen. Quinton Ross, D-Montgomery, speaks before the Alabama State University Board of Trustees on Dec. 20, 2013.  Ross, who was a runner-up for president of ASU, announced plans to run for re-election Friday.  (Montgomery Advertiser, Mickey Welsh)

Sen. Quinton Ross, D-Montgomery, speaks before the Alabama State University Board of Trustees on Dec. 20, 2013. Ross, who was a runner-up for president of ASU, announced plans to run for re-election Friday. (Montgomery Advertiser, Mickey Welsh)

Sen. Quinton Ross Friday afternoon announced plans to run for re-election in 2014, a few hours after finishing as a runner-up in the Alabama State University presidential search.

“I’m thankful to have been nominated for the position of president of ASU and to have been selected one of the top-three finalists for the position,” the Democrat from Montgomery said in a statement. “I thank God for the opportunity and give Him all the glory. I have been blessed with great support from my family, my friends and my constituents. I look forward to serving my district with the same commitment and enthusiasm that I have since 2002.”

Ross, 45, is a former principal of Booker T. Washington Magnet High School in Montgomery who currently works as Director of Adult Education at Trenholm State Technical College.

A 2010 law passed by the newly-elected Republican majority banned lawmakers from holding jobs with the state. Senate Republicans last April rejected an effort by Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, to grandfather in Ross and Rep. John Knight, D-Montgomery, who serves as a vice president at ASU.

Ross would not say Friday what his plans with his Trenholm job were, but hinted that he may seek action through the Legislature, which returns on Jan. 14.

“We still have the legislative session to go through,” Ross said. “I feel I have options out there, and I’ll see what happens. Anything is possible in the legislative process.”

During his time in the Senate, Ross has generally worked as an ally of the Alabama Education Association and sought higher funding for public schools. Ross played a key role in killing a charter school bill in 2012, and exchanged loud and bitter words with Marsh last February over the rushed passage of the Alabama Accountability Act, which allows students in schools designated as failing to claim tax credits for use in private schools. Ross has also advocated for Medicaid expansion.

The senator said he would continue to emphasize those issues, as well as economic development.

The senator was one of nine people accused of bribery over lobbying for a gambling bill in 2010; however, Ross was found not guilty on the charges. Eight of the nine defendants were ultimately acquitted; former legal analyst and attorney Ray Crosby, who had a mistrial declared in his first trial, died prior to the start of the second.

– posted by Brian Lyman

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