Columbiana native enters race for governor

State Rep. Robert J. Bentley, R-Tuscaloosa, a native of Columbiana, announced his candidacy for the GOP nomination for governor on Wednesday.

Bentley, 66, will travel by bus across Alabama Wednesday and Thursday to announce his candidacy during press conferences in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery, Opelika, Dothan and Mobile.

A dermatologist by trade, Bentley was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives from District 63 in November 2002 and ran unopposed for re-election in 2006. He currently serves on the Agriculture, Education Appropriations and Internal Affairs Committees in the House.

“Serving in the state House has been a blessing and honor, but now the time has come to explore a new horizon and face new challenges to fulfill the deep commitment I feel to my local community, to our state, and to the people of Alabama,” Bentley said.

Bentley and wife Dianne have four children – John, Paul, Luke and Matthew. They have five granddaughters.

Tim James, a Greenville businessman and son of former Gov. Fob James, is the only other declared GOP candidate to date.