By Jonathan Hardison
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRR) - One of the most powerful men in Alabama politics is taking a step back. Paul Hubbert announced he is leaving his post as a vice chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party. He is not stepping back from his role as Executive Secretary of the Alabama Education Association.
Hubbert announced Thursday he will leave the party leadership post because he thinks that's in the best interest of his main job at the AEA.
"It seems to me to be a timely occasion for this to happen if I were going to make that change for 2 reasons," Hubbert said. "Number one the Democratic Party's going to be reorganizing in August for another 4 year cycle. And number 2, we're several months away from the general election and if we wanna be involved with candidates from both parties, now's a good time to take this step it seems."
Republicans have long accused Hubbert of bankrolling democratic candidates with money from teachers in both parties, and state GOP Chair Mike Hubbard says he doesn't expect this to change anything.
"I don't think Paul Hubbert woke up this morning and had an epiphany and said 'I think I'm going to be bipartisan and equal between Democrats and Republicans," Hubbard said. "His philosophy and the philosophy of his union is opposite of our philosophy Republican Party and that's the way it is."
Hubbard's democratic counterpart Joe Turnham seemed to hint he doesn't think Hubbert will be losing any influence either.
"Understandable," Turnham said. "He's paid his dues and we certainly will miss him, but we respect his wishes. I don't think he's completely going away. I think he'll still be in the background fighting for causes and candidates he believes in."
"I'm not sure there's an impact per se," said FOX6 News political analyst Natalie Davis. "Paul Hubbert has always been more of a background player in terms of part politics, then someone who's had an official role. But Hubbert is beginning to move towards cutting back from a lot of things. He very well may retire down the road from AEA, so I see this as 1 less thing on his plate."