Bettye Fine Collins will not seek another term in office

Fox6 News has confirmed Jefferson County Commission President Bettye Fine Collins will not seek another term in office. Collins, 75, has represented District 4 since 1994, and served as Commission President since 2006.

A source close to Collins tells Fox6 News this decision has been made for some time, but Collins wanted to make sure her announcement didn't interfere with some decisions surrounding the county's ongoing financial crisis.

Collins is a longtime Republican elected official, though many in her party opposed her votes in recent years in regards to the county's ongoing sewer debt crisis. Republican Commissioners Jim Carns and Bobby Humphryes supported a bankruptcy filing to resolve the $3.2 billion debt crisis, a move Collins along with Democrats Shelia Smoot and William Bell opposed.

Reached for comment Sunday, a former chair of the Jefferson County Republican Party, David Wheeler, steered clear of criticizing Collins.

"I would say this is not the time to discuss those type of things," Wheeler said. "I think Ms. Collins has had a long and distinguished career as a public servant for the Jefferson County area, and I just applaud her decision to move on with the next part of her life."

Wheeler said he had been told by at least 3 Republicans that they were going to oppose Collins in her district in the upcoming primary if she decided to run for re-election.