Political leaders across the Yellowhammer State are reacting to the news of Robert Bentley resigning as Governor of Alabama Monday afternoon.
Here’s what they’re saying:
Alabama Attorney General Steven 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.
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.
Alabama Senate Leader Greg Reed:
The people of Alabama deserve and expect for their political leaders to be men and women of integrity. The state can move forward now under the honorable and trustworthy leadership of Governor Kay Ivey, and I look forward to working with her administration.
Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh will now serve as the presiding officer over the Alabama Senate. Senator Marsh is a very capable public servant, and I will continue to work closely with him to advance an agenda that puts the people of Alabama first.
Alabama Senate Minority Leader Quinton Ross:
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.
Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels:
The Governor’s resignation is long overdue. If it had not been for the few brave citizens who put our state first and doing the right thing above everything else, this saga might still be continuing. We owe them a debt of gratitude. Unfortunately, the astounding revelations of the past few days are just part of a pattern of abuses by those at the highest levels of power in our state. First, it was the former Speaker, then the former Chief Justice of our Supreme Court and now the former Governor — all of whom have fallen short of the standards of service in the public interest and adherence to the law. From the agreement reached today, it’s clear that there is still much work to be done to stop this cycle of cronyism and abuse of power that has a stranglehold on our state government.
These politicians recklessly put themselves, their bank accounts, and their egos before their duty — working on behalf of the people of Alabama. This abuse of power has consumed our state government for far too long and wasted money that could have been used for any number of vital state needs. We must turn the page on this ugly and shameful chapter in our state history. I sincerely hope the new Governor represents a departure from what we have seen for too long. I look forward to working with Governor Ivey and hope she will work across the aisle to get our state government working for the people of Alabama again.
Dothan-Republican state Rep. Paul Lee:
I think Governor Bentley’s resignation is best for the entire state. This will allow us to move forward with our business such as getting our budgets passed as they should be. We need to work on the redistricting we are charged to do by the courts and we have other everyday business including what we are going to do with the prison system.
Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party Terry Lathan:
In the best interest of our state, it was the correct action of Governor Robert Bentley to resign.
Ozark-Republican state Rep. Steve Clouse:
I think (Bentley) made the right decision. It was evident after last Friday’s report that he had misused state personnel for private purposes. That was the smoking gun the Legislature was looking for, some type of financial irregularity. Kay Ivey will be a breath of fresh air. I have know her for a long time and worked very closely with her. I think it will be a step in the right direction as far as the Legislature working with her.
Alabama Agriculture 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.
Gadsden-Democrat state 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.
Hayden-Republican and House Rural Caucus Chairman state Rep. David Standridge:
This is a sad day for our state, but I am thankful that Robert Bentley has chosen to put the good of this state and of our people ahead of his own desires. I have been saying for over a year that our state needed to move past this controversy and instead focus on doing what is right for our people. Today I am praying for Dr. Bentley, his family, and our entire state. With this decision, our state can now move forward and focus on growing jobs, protecting agricultural opportunities, and ensuring that our education system competes with other states in the region.
I am also offering my full support for Governor Ivey. As the Chairman of the Rural Caucus, I pledge my prayers, my support, and my commitment to work with our new governor to ensure that the needs of the hardworking families of Alabama are front and center in the minds of our state’s leaders. I also implore all of my colleagues in elected office to recommit themselves to serving with honesty, transparency, and with the highest level of integrity.