MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Former state Rep. Alvin Holmes, who had been the longest-serving member of the Alabama House of Representatives before his 2018 defeat, has died. He was 81.
Alabama House of Representatives spokesman Clay Redden confirmed Holmes’ death Saturday.
Holmes, one of the first African Americans elected to the Alabama Legislature after the civil rights era, was for decades a fixture at the Statehouse. His political career included battles over issues ranging from removing Jim Crow language from the state Constitution to taking the Confederate flag off of the Alabama Capitol. With his trademark outspokenness, he had panache for humorous, and sometimes controversial, moments.
Holmes was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1974, just four years after African Americans – who hadn’t served since Reconstruction – returned to the Legislature.
“I came to the Statehouse out of the civil rights movement. I said I wanted to go up there and make a change,” Holmes said