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Retired judge and former U.S. Sen. Howell Heflin was honored on the Senate floor Monday by Doug Jones who once worked for Heflin and now holds Heflin's former Senate seat. Heflin died in 2005. [FILE/TIMESDAILY]

Colbert County native and former U.S. Sen. Howell Heflin was honored Monday during remarks on the Senate floor by U.S. Senator Doug Jones.

Jones, an Alabama Democrat, named a conference room in his Washington, D.C., office after Heflin, who was a Democrat from Tuscumbia. Jones had served as staff counsel to Heflin on the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1979.

A release from Jones' office includes portions of his remarks on the floor.

"It is my privilege to now hold Judge Heflin's seat here in the Senate," he stated. "It is my honor. The fact that I walked off this floor with him as a staffer in 1980 and walked back on in 2018 in his seat has been one of the great honors of my life. He was certainly my mentor and my role model in many ways, and each day that I am here in the Senate, I strive to continue his legacy."

He also quoted from Heflin's retirement speech: "I have endeavored to represent Alabama in a studied, impartial and fair-minded manner. My record certainly merits at least an independent streak. I hope Alabamians know that my decisions were based on what I thought was in the best interest of my state and nation."

"I miss him, Alabama misses him, and I can assure my colleagues who didn't know him that the United States Senate misses him as well," Jones said.

Heflin was elected chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 1970 and elected to the U.S. Senate in 1978, where he served for 18 years. He died in 2005.

Jones formally dedicated the conference rooms to Heflin and Giles Perkins, Jones' former campaign chairman who died in December, according to the release.

bernie.delinski@timesdaily.com or 256-740-5739. Twitter @TD_BDelinski


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