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Monday, March 1, 2010

Love to run for another House term


State Rep. Jay Love believes the chances of Republicans taking control of the Alabama House of Representatives for the first time in more than a century is better than 50-50 and he wants to be in the chamber providing leadership if that occurs.
Love, a Montgomery businessman who is currently the second ranking Republican in the House, announced Monday that he will run for a third term in the Legislature.
"I hope to provide valuable input in determining the course of the state," he said. " ... The national sentiment and the state sentiment will work to elect more Republicans, which will be a good thing for this state."
No other candidate has announced he is running for the District 74 House seat, which Love has represented since 2002.
Love advocated and sponsored legislation for years that would allow small businesses to deduct what they pay for employee health insurance coverage from their state income taxes. A Democratic sponsor picked up the legislation, which lawmakers passed in a 2008 special session. Love’s legislation was in a position to pass during the regular session, but died on the last night.
Love, working with the office of Gov. Bob Riley and Democratic Rep. John Knight, helped craft legislation that increased the threshold at which a two-parent family of four begins paying state income taxes from $4,600 to $12,500.
Love's proposal was incorporated into Knight's bill.
Those situations, Love said, demonstrate his willingness to work with Democrats to ensure legislation is passed.
Moving forward, he said his focus will be on creating jobs.
"That is by far the No. 1 issue facing this state," Love said.
He supports legislation proposed by Riley that would offer tax credit for hiring unemployed workers.
The legislator is also a successful businessman, buying his first Subway sandwich shop in 1992 and eventually building his business into 16 restaurants in the Montgomery area. He sold the shops in 2006 and now runs a real estate investment company that specializes in commercial real estate.
Love ran for the District 2 congressional seat in 2008. He beat out five other Republicans, including two other state legislators, to win the primary, and lost the general election by less than 1,800 votes in a down year for Republicans.
Love said that after he lost the District 2 race, he received encouragement from his constituents "to continue in my service in the Legislature." When campaigning for District 2, he said he finished very well among voters in his district in the 2008 primary, runoff and the general election.

-- posted by Sebastian Kitchen

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Location: Montgomery, AL, United States

South Union Street is the blog of Montgomery Advertiser political reporters Markeshia Ricks and Sebastian Kitchen. Always check here for the latest on the Legislature, elections and other activities and players in Alabama.

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