MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - Just a day after Mike Hubbard gets convicted, Representative Phil Williams (R-Madison County) says he's still up for the speaker's job.
He points out, "Yeah, I threw my hat in the ring a year ago, while he was sitting in the hair. I was the only one who challenged him sitting in the chair. Now that it's an open seat. I expect there to be lots of hats tossed into the ring."
And the day after Hubbard's conviction, he says he ran his iPhone battery all the way down to 0% by mid-afternoon.
He expects a crowded field now, with maybe five or six other people gunning for the same spot. He also expects the contest to take time. He doesn't expect the party to coalesce around anyone quickly.
Plus, there's the addition of regional tensions, with Alabama having its own North-South clashes in the state legislature. That clash showed up in a big way during debates about the BP oil settlement. Williams believes that at any other point, the jockeying for the speaker's role might be based on personalities, but this time it's more politics than usual.
He says he wishes it would be about vision.
He's started making his case again, "I've been there for almost seven years. I know what works and what doesn't work. The system itself is broken, and it all boils down to one issue. The Speaker of the House has too much power. So I would be the first speaker ever to try to purposely downsize the power associated with that seat."
That's a lot different from the Hubbard leadership he describes, "That speaker controls every committee assignment, every chairman or chair lady of a committee. And just by controlling those two things, they control all legislation. That's not what the people signed up for. The people signed up for a representative form of government."
That's the case he'll make to his colleagues.
But it's unlikely to be the only case those colleagues hear.