Robert J. Bentley
53rd Governor of AlabamaTuscaloosa, Alabama
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Robert J. Bentley53rd Governor of Alabama
Robert Julian Bentley (born February 3, 1943) is an American former politician and physician who served as the 53rd Governor of Alabama from 2011 until 2017 upon his resignation after a political scandal and subsequent arrest. A member of the Republican Party, Bentley was elected governor in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. A sex scandal involving a political aide forced Bentley to resign from office on April 10, 2017. Born in Columbiana, Alabama, Bentley earned his M.D. from the University of Alabama School of Medicine in 1968 and then served in the United States Air Force as a medical officer at Pope Air Force Base in Fayetteville, North Carolina from 1969 to 1975 until leaving the service as a captain. He entered private medical practice and opened a series of dermatology clinics throughout the southern United States. Bentley was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 2002 and served a total of two four-year terms from 2003 to 2010. In 2010, Bentley announced his intentions to run for the Republican nomination for governor. Bentley won in a seven-candidate primary and faced Democrat Ron Sparks, the outgoing Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture, in the general election. Bentley received just over 58% of the statewide vote and won by a margin of over 230,000 votes—the largest margin recorded for a Republican in an open-seat race in Alabama history. In 2014, Bentley won re-election, winning the largest percentage of the vote that any Republican gubernatorial candidate had received in modern Alabama history, 63.6%.
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