Alabama's new governor no stranger to state politics

Kay Ivey, 72, has been sworn in as Alabama's 54th governor following the resignation Monday of Gov. Robert Bentley.

The governor of the conservative southern USA state of Alabama has resigned, shortly after lawmakers began impeachment proceedings linked to his affair with a senior aide that was made public in humiliating detail.

The stunning resignation came after Bentley pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor violations of campaign finance law.

Robert Bentley, 74, who is married and a former baptist deacon, struck up a relationship with 45-year-old Rebekah Caldwell Mason, a married mother of three.

Within hours, Collier spoke out against the governor, alleging that he had seen and investigated sexual text messages and audio recordings between Bentley and Mason.

Zeigler is asking Governor Kay Ivey to void the special senate election declared by former governor Robert Bentley.

Voters in the deeply conservative state re-elected Moore as chief justice in 2012, but a state judicial panel suspended him from the post previous year over an order he issued opposing same-sex marriage.

Bentley was at peace with the decision to step down, according to a former administration member who was not authorized to release the information and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity. He was removed from office and is now serving a prison sentence for conspiring to sell an appointment to President Barack Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat.

Bentley was a dermatologist and church deacon before he ran for governor seven years ago on a platform of preaching the virtues of family values, with Dianne Bentley, his wife of almost 50 years, by his side.

"I can't take my eyes off of you."

"If you've got something good, people want to be part of it", he said.

In August of that year Bentley's wife Dianne filed for divorce and in September an agreement was finalized. In the history of the United States, only 38 women have served as governor-22 Democrats and 16 Republicans.

Bentley was desperate to keep the allegations from spreading beyond the Governor's Mansion, where they were apparently well-known among staffers, the report said. "If we are going to do what we did the other day, we are going to have to start locking the door".

House Speaker Mac McCutcheon (R-Capshaw) issued a statement Monday afternoon stating he will pray for the former and incoming Governor, and Bentley's resignation will give the legislature the opportunity to once again fully focus on "real problems facing our state".

Ivey's biography shows her as an accomplished stateswoman who got her start in Alabama politics as a House clerk and later became the first Republican elected treasurer since Reconstruction.

If you don't live in Alabama - or aren't yet familiar with the details of messy allegations that eventually forced Bentley out of office, catch up here. He said he expects the governor to have moving vans in play on Friday.

  • Larry Hoffman