A sword is now hanging over his head. Will Alabama Governor Robert Bentley be able to come out of the onslaught unscathed is yet to be seen. What is clear right now is the fact that he is facing a serious challenge of his political career.
The 74-year old Governor of Alabama who was re-elected to the office last year is facing serious challenge to his rule in the state as his political opponents are planning to oust him from his job. The court’s ruling is certainly a shot in the arms of his opponents who are working overtime to remove him from his post.
Yesterday, the Alabama Supreme Court allowed lawmakers in the state to move ahead with an effort to oust him. There is no denying that Robert Bentley has been very popular in the state and has won both the election with huge margins.
To be true, the support has grown for him with the passage of time. Bentley faced Democrat Ron Sparks, the outgoing Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture, in the general election. He got more than 58% of the statewide vote and won by a margin of over 230,000 votes—the largest margin recorded for a Republican in the state. During his reelection in the year 2014, he won by the largest percentage of the vote that any Republican gubernatorial candidate had received in modern Alabama history, 63.6%.
Latest reports suggest that Bentley will face impeachment hearings beginning on Monday. It should be kept in mind that the state Supreme Court reversed a short-lived victory for Bentley when a judge on Friday blocked impeachment proceedings. After the high court’s ruling, the House Judiciary Committee quickly announced plans to proceed with hearings on Monday.
The sex scandal with a close aid has put a question mark on his otherwise clean political career. Ever since recordings surfaced in 2016 of him making suggestive remarks to a female aide before he and his wife of 50 years got divorced. He and Dianne Bentley remained married from 1965 to 2015, fifty years in all.
He has defended himself and has said that he will remain in office. “I do not plan to resign. I have done nothing illegal…If the people want to know if I misused state resources, the answer is simply no. I have not” said he accepting that he made some mistakes in the past.
His lawyer, after the announcement of the intent to impeach his client said, “It’s disappointing to hear the committee will plow forward while the Supreme Court is considering the case. We have no idea what the committee has planned for Monday or who its witnesses will be”.