Jamie Ison, a state representative serving Mobile County’s District 101 since 2002 has announced her intention to not seek re-election when her current term expires next year. Ison, a realtor by trade, said after three terms, “the time was right” to step aside.
“I’m still very interested and involved in the community, but it’s something I’ve been considering for some time now and 12 years is the perfect time for me,” Ison said. “Everybody has their own schedule and for me I wanted to perform my public service, but I thought it was time to let someone else in.”
Ison’s seat in the state legislature will be one of several in Mobile County that have changed hands recently. In Dec. 2012 Senate District 35 representative Ben Brooks’ resigned to become a circuit court judge and House District 97 representative Yvonne Kennedy died. Those seats were filled by Bill Hightower and Adline Clarke, respectively, in special elections.
This August, Jim Barton resigned from House District 104 midterm, setting up a special election between Republican Margie Wilcox and Democrat Stephen Carr in January. Last month, State Rep. Chad Fincher (Republican, District 102) accepted a position as Executive Director of the Mobile Area Association of Realtors and was non-committal about running for re-election in 2014.
But Ison said in her experience, the Mobile County delegation has a history of working together and she was confident her successor could build upon some of the economic development achievements of the previous decade.
“The State Docks, the Mitchell Cancer Center, Austal, Airbus, Mobile Aerospace Engineering, I could go on. We’ve had tremendous success with economic development for our community and we’ve always been able to work together, across party lines, to accomplish it,” Ison said, crediting fellow legislators Victor Gaston and James Buskey.
As far as personal achievements, Ison mentioned her sponsorship of legislation for pension reform at the Retirement Systems of Alabama and for tax credits to develop low-income areas. She said one of her earliest legislative victories was ensuring that select hurricane shelters could be designated for evacuees with special medical needs.
“I’ll continue to work on economic development for our region and entire state,” she said. “I’m excited about Mobile’s growth and our leadership and I think we have a lot of opportunity and the Mobile delegation has been uniquely successful.”