It never had seemed likely that, at age 78 and a somewhat-different district almost certainly staring him in the face, Republican state Sen. B.L. “Buddy” Shaw would run for reelection this year. His formally-announced exit opens the stage for a contest, at least one ambitious politician does not hope to get by trying to preempt the field, as wrenchingly difficult and expensive as when Shaw captured the seat.
Besides his age and the rigors of campaigning in a district the boundaries of which are likely to be redrawn to some degree as a result of decennial redistricting, Shaw also gave himself a dozen-year deadline in state legislative service. Having served in the House from 1996-2004, then retiring to help care for his wife during a medically-trying period, her return to good health allowed him to capture the seat at the retirement of term-limited Max Malone.
For that alone he did area conservatives prodigious service.