Richard Lindsay

Richard Lindsay

State Rep. Richard Lindsey, D-Centre, announced Monday that he won’t seek re-election to the House in 2018.

Lindsey, 62, is one of a shrinking number of white Democrats in a Legislature with a supermajority of Republicans in both houses.

“It’s just time,” Lindsey said in a telephone interview Monday. “I’m 35 years into it, and it’s time to move on.”

Lindsey was first elected to the House in 1983, when Democrats controlled both houses, as they had for more than a century before his arrival. A former chairman of one of the House budget committees, he helped usher in the Rainy Day Fund that was supposed to protect the education budget from mid-year cuts in tough budget years. He said his biggest accomplishment was helping secure a Cherokee County center for Gadsden State Community College.

Lindsey survived the wave election of 2010, which swept Republicans into power and swept Democrats out of most majority-white districts. Some white Democrats switched parties after that election, claiming the Alabama party had become more like its national counterpart and had drifted away from them.

Lindsey remained, and won re-election in 2014.

“I’ve always treated everybody the same regardless of whether they were a Republican or a Democrat,” he said.

Lindsey acknowledged that his district, which covers parts of Cherokee and Dekalb counties and Calhoun County around Piedmont, has grown more Republican over the years. Lindsey said the district didn’t change in the redistricting plan the Legislature approved this year.

No Democrat has filed to run for the seat so far. Republicans Ginny Shaver and T.J. Maloney are vying for the GOP nomination.

“I do hope someone chooses to run as a Democrat,” Lindsey said.

Capitol & statewide reporter Tim Lockette: 256-294-4193. On Twitter @TLockette_Star.