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Extra marital affair forces Merrill from Senate race

Explicit audio recording forces Merrill to admit he cheated on his wife.
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill in this February 16, 2021 WTVY photo.
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill in this February 16, 2021 WTVY photo.(WTVY)
Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 8:02 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WTVY) -Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill has scrapped plans to run for the U.S. Senate after admitting he had an extra-marital affair.

Al.com reports that Merrill, on Wednesday morning, first denied having a sexual relationship with 44-year-old Cesaire McPherson but later admitted his infidelity after she produced explicit audio recordings of conversations she had with Merrill.

Merrill, a married father of two, told Al.com that “there is no excuse” for his behavior.

Later Wednesday, he issued a statement confirming he will not seek the Senate seat currently held by Richard Shelby, who plans to retire in December 2023.

“After much prayer, reflection, and conversations with my wife, Cindy, I have decided that I will not be a candidate for any office in 2022,” Merrill said.

He did not mention the affair in that statement.

When contacted by WSFA/WTVY political reporter Lydia Nussbaum, Merrill said he had nothing to add to his statement.

With Merrill bowing out, Congressman Mo Brooks becomes the unquestionable favorite in the Senate race.

Only one other candidate has announced for the Republican nomination---former U.S. Ambassador Lynda Blanchard, a Montgomery native.

Copyright 2021 WTVY. All rights reserved.

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