As of November 2, 2010, Alabama has a new governor. His name is Robert Julian Bentley, a Republican. For many, that’s all to be said. Some expect Alabama to continue in the same direction it has for the last decade with Republican leadership.
In the current national political climate, we tend to believe people went to the polls looking for more than just the status quo. Alabamians, as well as all Americans are looking for leaders who will lead in the right direction, keep the promises they made as candidates, and represent the people, not just their own agendas, or their party’s agenda. What type of leadership will Bentley, who received 65% of the vote, offer Alabama as governor?
Here’s a quick overview of Governor Bentley and what he has told Alabamians to expect.
Governor Bentley was raised in Shelby County. He earned his degree in medicine from the University of Alabama School of Medicine. Captain Bentley served as a general medical officer in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War.
Governor Bentley and his wife Mattie have been residents of Tuscaloosa, Alabama where he started several businesses. They have four sons and five grandchildren.
Governor Bentley was the founder and president of Alabama Dermatology Associates, which became one of the largest dermatology practices in the southeast.
Robert Bentley became the Alabama State House Representative from Tuscaloosa County in 2002. He was elected again in 2006 after running unopposed. As a state representative, Bentley served on various committees. Earlier this year, Bentley proposed an amendment that basically said health care providers, businesses or individuals in Alabama would not have to comply with President Barack Obama’s national health care reforms.
As a politician, Bentley developed a reputation for his stance as a fiscal conservative. He is a Christian who also stood for traditional family values. And he opposes big government. What is most interesting about Robert Bentley’s gubernatorial campaign is that he seemed to arise out of nowhere, compared to other well-known Republican candidates for governor.
His political platform while running for governor? Maybe that was his claim to fame. Republican Robert Bentley made a promise to Alabamians that if he were elected governor, he would work for free until Alabama’s unemployment rate had dropped to less than six percent. Bentley is also against gambling – an issue that has divided Alabamians along party lines since the days of Democratic Governor Don Seigleman.
Just like anything else, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Governor Robert Bentley’s claim to not take a salary until unemployed Alabamians return to work sounds hopeful. Who knows how long and bumpy that road will be. Jobless Alabamians would hope that whatever miracles he could work on our behalf that he will be about them. So that payday can come for all of us.