Several local state legislators will hold key leadership positions in the upcoming 2019 state legislative session.
State Senator Bobby Singleton of Greensboro (District 24), who represents Greene and surrounding counties, will serve as Minority Leader of the Alabama State Senate.
Representative Christopher England of District 70, which includes most of southern and eastern Tuscaloosa County, was chosen to head the Democratic Caucus in the Alabama House of Representatives.
Singleton, who was first elected to the state Senate in 2005, was chosen for the post by the eight members of the Democratic caucus.
“I just want to thank my colleagues for having the confidence in me to be able to lead them for the next four years,” Singleton said in a statement. “As the minority leader, we will be looking at a robust agenda; not just for the Democrats, but for the state of Alabama. Hopefully, we can work across the aisle with the majority. I look forward to working with Senate Majority Leader Sen. Greg Reed and Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh.”
Singleton replaces Sen. Billy Beasley of Clayton. Beasley will assume the duties of deputy minority leader.
Singleton earned his bachelor’s degree from Alabama State University and his law degree from Miles Law School. He served in the state House of Representatives from 2002-05 before being elected to the state Senate. He represents District 24, which includes parts of Choctaw, Clarke, Greene, Hale, Marengo, Pickens, Sumter and Tuscaloosa counties.
Marsh congratulated Singleton on his appointment as Senate minority leader.
“There are many tough issues facing the Alabama Senate in the year to come and I look forward to working with Sen. Singleton as we develop legislation that improves the lives of all Alabamians,” Marsh said in a statement. “Sen. Singleton and I have worked well together for several years and I have no doubt that will continue as we strive to ensure that the Senate runs smoothly and that all Senators are represented equally.”
Representative Chris England, who begins his fourth term in the House of Representatives, said, “I am honored and humbled to serve our caucus in this capacity. I am looking forward to working with the members of the leadership team and the caucus overall to build a better Alabama,” England said in a news release.
England graduated from Howard University in 1999 and earned a juris doctorate degree from the University of Alabama in 2002. He was first elected in 2006 and ran unopposed in the November general election.
Members of the caucus also re-elected Rep. Anthony Daniels of Huntsville as minority leader and Rep. Merika Coleman of Pleasant Grove the assistant minority leader.
Sen. Vivian Figures, D-Mobile, was elected chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, which includes both senators and House members.
Figures will serve in that position for two years. A House member will chair the Black Caucus the following two years, as is customary.
Despite losing a number of influential Black legislators to retirement and election losses, including Senator Hank Sanders of Selma, Rep. John Knight and Rep. Alvin Holmes of Montgomery, there are younger leaders who are asserting themselves and coming forward to lead on critical issues facing the Black community.