Local political leaders react to Bentley resignation

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Monday was both a dark day and a bright one for the state, said Rep. Alan Boothe, R-Troy.

“I think it’s a dark day for the State of Alabama that we’ve had to endure what we’ve had to endure for the last several months,” Boothe said. “But it’s also a bright day to see the democratic process works in this state and that an easy transition of power happened today. I’m happy to work with Governor Ivey to make Alabama the great state that it deserves it to be.”

Boothe was referring to Robert Bentley’s resignation after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges stemming from misuse of campaign funds and an alleged illicit affair. Bentley resigned under the threat of impeachment, with ethics commission charges pending and a House panel convening an impeachment review. His resignation led the way for Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey to step into the state’s top elected office.

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Sen. Jimmy Holley, R-Troy, echoed those sentiments, saying it isn’t a day for celebration.

“It’s not a time for celebration certainly for the state,” Holley said.  “It proves our form of government works though. We’re starting a new chapter in our state. Gov. Kay Ivey is quite capable in leading the state. I wish her well and look forward to working with her.”

Holley said the resignation means the Legislature will return to its regular business for the rest of the session.

“We know we still have a duty to pass budgets and deal with other legislations … We can move forward and focus on making Alabama a greater place to live now.”

Bentley tried and failed Friday to stop the commission from releasing a report detailing the findings of the investigation and ultimately failed in his attempt to stall impeachment hearings that began Monday.

Local Republican party chair Donna Horn said it is good to be able to move on to regular business.

“I think that it’s a good thing to get it out of the way so that we can move forward,” Horn said. “I think it’s much better to leave on his own terms than go through the impeachment process and pretty much stall everything until it’s all over with. I think they now will be free to move on with the business of the budget and I think they’ll have leadership in place with Gov. Ivey and hopefully can get something resolved with the prisons and the budget.”

Horn said she hopes people remember Bentley’s children and grandchildren and Mason’s children.

“I hope everyone is keeping Bentley’s children and grandchildren and Mason’s children in their thoughts and prayers,” Horn said. “I hope everyone is concerned about them and their feelings and thinks about them.”

U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., Troy’s representative in Washington, said it was the right move for Bentley to make.

“Governor Bentley’s decision to resign was the right thing to do,” Roby said. “The people of Alabama deserve leaders who are focused on the serious issues facing our state, and I look forward to better days ahead.”