MONTGOMERY, ala. (AP) — Alabama’s secretary of state says he will not run for any elected office next year after saying he made poor choices that impacted his family. John H. Merrill is a prominent state Republican leader who was widely viewed as having higher political ambitions. He told The Associated Press by phone Wednesday that he made choices that were not in the best interest of his family. He didn’t elaborate but had told media outlet al.com earlier that he had an inappropriate relationship with a woman outside his marriage. Merrill announced his decision in a statement issued from his office. He was elected Alabama’s secretary of state in 2014.