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North Alabama legislators react to Gov. Bentley’s resignation

Lawmakers from across north Alabama had much to say about Gov. Robert Bentley’s resignation Monday afternoon. Bentley changed his name to Dr. Robert Bentley on Twitter and tweeted:

Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey has since been sworn in as the 54th Governor of the State of Alabama. Ivey becomes the state’s second female governor, the first being Lurleen Wallace back in 1967.

Alabama House Speaker Mac McCutcheon:

“I’m grateful that Governor Bentley has seen the writing on the wall and made what must have been a difficult decision. When I met with him on Friday, I told him I would be praying for him. I will continue praying for him as he adjusts to the next chapter in his life and reflects upon the legacy he leaves behind. I’ll pray, as well, for Governor Kay Ivey, who has had an awesome burden placed upon her shoulders, but as someone who knows her talents and abilities and the values that guide her moral compass, I’m confident she will lead our state well. The attention of the House and Senate can once again fully focus on the real problems facing our state. We can now turn our attention to our most fundamental task of passing our state’s budgets. We can once again devote our every effort to doing the important work that our constituents – the families, neighbors, friends, and hardworking men and women in each of our districts – sent us to Montgomery to do. I have faith that with God’s grace and His guidance, we can put this difficult chapter in Alabama’s history behind us and work toward providing our children, our grandchildren, and their children after them a better and more prosperous Alabama.”

Rep. Craig Ford:

“It is a sad state of affairs that the leadership of all three branches of our state government has – in only one year’s time – either been removed from office, or resigned because they were going to be removed from office for corruption. I believe Gov. Bentley’s resignation was in the best interests of the state, and I look forward to working with Gov. Ivey as we try to move the state forward. Now more than ever we need a strong, two-party system so we can break this chain of absolute power becoming absolute corruption. I hope the people of Alabama will take this to heart and vote for the person rather than voting for the party.”

Attorney General Steven T. Marshall:

“I appreciate the work of Ellen Brooks, supernumerary district attorney, as well as the Attorney General’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in conducting the investigation of Governor Bentley which today led to his guilty pleas and resignation from office. I told the people of Alabama that I would recuse if there was an investigation and I did.  I have allowed experienced and professional prosecutors to handle this matter and I have provided all the resources related to the performance of their work. I will fully support Kay Ivey’s transition as the next governor of the State of Alabama and I look forward to working with her to address the pressing issues that face our state.”

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby

“The American people’s trust in their government depends on the integrity and dignity of those in office, and it is clear that Alabamians have lost this in Governor Bentley. As governor, Bentley was elected by the people of Alabama to the highest position of authority and should consequentially treat the office with the utmost respect. I believe he has made the right decision in offering his resignation. I look forward to working with Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey in her new capacity as Governor of Alabama.”

Sen. Clay Scofield:

“I am glad the Governor stepped down. Now we can heal as a state and move on to solving problems. Let this be a lesson that wrongdoers in public office, no matter how high, will be dealt with.”

Rep. Will Ainsworth:

“It is both a good and also sad day for the State of Alabama. Gov. Bentley has finally resigned after dragging the state through a year-long scandal that included using his office as a tool to cover up his affair with a subordinate, bullying and intimidating staff members that he thought had material knowledge of his transgressions, and grossly misusing state resources for his personal gain.  It is unfortunate that the governor did not resign sooner. I did everything in my power to rectify this situation.  I signed the Articles of Impeachment more than one year ago.  I also introduced a bill allowing voters to recall an elected official in a situation like this, and while it passed committee, the measure never received a floor vote.  Integrity, morals, and trust of the public are key to serving the public and Gov. Bentley has clearly demonstrated he lacks all of these. It’s a good day for the state because we can finally move on from the distractions of the Bentley scandal.  We can start focusing all of our attention on important and vital issues facing the state like public education, recruiting jobs, and competing in a global economy. These are the issues that excite me, and I look forward to addressing them throughout the remainder of my term.”

Sen. Steve Livingston:

“I appreciate the governor doing the right thing so the state can move forward with the business at hand .”

Commissioner John McMillan:

“I have already offered my full support to Governor Kay Ivey and I pledge to assist her in any way moving forward. Alabamians deserve elected leaders who put the people of Alabama first.”

Senate Minority Leader Quinton T. Ross Jr.:

“Today, Gov. Robert Bentley did what was in the best interest of the State of Alabama by resigning. For the past two years, the Alabama Legislature has been plagued by distractions that have threatened to derail our legislative system. Former House Speaker Mike Hubbard, former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, and now, former Gov. Robert Bentley have all caused embarrassing headlines for our great state on a local, regional and national level.  Therefore, moving forward from today, it is critical that we do not allow anything else to distract us from the job at hand which is providing solutions to the many problems our citizens face.”

Congressman Robert B. Aderholt:

“Governor Bentley had to make a difficult choice in resigning today. However, I believe it was the right decision for a state I know he deeply loves. I thank Governor Bentley for his service to our state, in particular, the way he handled the devastation and loss of life after the April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak. I wish new Governor Kay Ivey the best and stand ready to help her in any way I can to advance our state and help its people.”​