MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Gov. Kay Ivey is reacting to news that Secretary of State John Merrill has abruptly ended all efforts to seek elected office in 2022.
“It is always unfortunate when someone in public life, especially an elected official, betrays the trust of his family, his constituents and those who have supported him,” Ivey said. “My thoughts and prayers are with all who have been negatively impacted by these poor decisions and bad choices.”
Merrill, the state’s chief elections officer since 2015, has long been expected to mount a bid for higher office. In recent days, his name has been tossed around for the U.S. Senate seat Richard Shelby will retire from in 2022.
But on Wednesday afternoon, his office announced he would not seek any office in the upcoming election cycle.
Merrill’s statement did not give a specific reason for his decision. However, according to AL.com, Merrill admitted Wednesday he had an extramarital affair after initially denying it.
Asked whether he should resign for allegedly using state resources for personal reasons, Ivey said “I think you should talk to Secretary Merrill about his intentions moving forward. I’ll leave that decision to him and whether he has the trust of the people.”