Montgomery Councilman Arch Lee won’t seek re-election

Montgomery Councilman Arch Lee won’t seek re-election
Montgomery City Councilman Arch Lee said Friday he won’t seek re-election to the seat he fought to win back in 2011 when his predecessor vacated it for Congress. (Carlson, Morgan)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Montgomery City Councilman Arch Lee said Friday he won’t seek re-election to the seat he fought to win back in 2011 when his predecessor vacated it for Congress.

Lee, who represents Montgomery’s District 7 covering the areas around Fairview Avenue, Court Street, and Carter Hill Road, entered the race to take Martha Roby’s seat and learned quickly how to win elections. There was the special election that April. Then a special election runoff in May. Then he had to run for a full term that November.

With three elections under his belt in the first six months, Lee got his footing, then earned another go at the seat four years later in a re-election bid. But seven years in, he says time is coming to move on. “Halftime,” he calls it. In the game of life, Lee has never been busier.

The councilman says he bought a signage company two years ago that’s kept him very busy. And he feels he needs more time with his family. With those priorities, he could see the signs pointing him away from another time-consuming run at the council seat, admitting he just doesn’t have the time he feels should be devoted to the seat and those it represents to seek another bid.

While Lee has a year left on his term, he’s already looking to its future. Thursday, he endorsed Montgomery businessman Clay McInnis to succeed him.

“I think he’s certainly qualified,” Lee said, “more than I was when I started.” Lee said he threw his support to McInnis “because his heart is in the right place. He’s doing it for the right reasons, in my opinion.”

“I would like to thank Arch Lee for his friendship and years of dedicated service to our city,” McInnis said on his campaign page. “He is a true class act- and I would be honored to succeed him in District 7.”

Looking back at his years on the council, Lee says there are a lot of accomplishments he can point to such as the city’s economic development wins and work he helped do in relation to improving city finances, lowering its debt, and building financial reserves.

While Lee is planning to leave the city council next year and says he has no plans to run for anything in the next election cycle, he hasn’t ruled out ever running for elected office again. But, he added, he would be happy either way.

“I’m looking forward to the next year,” Lee said. “There’s a lot I’ll miss about it, but the city is headed in the right direction and I think it will continue.”

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