Politics gets clean bill of health

Shelby County and Columbiana native Dr. Robert Bentley made a believer out of many Alabamians June 1, when he became a contender for the Republican runoff for the nomination for Alabama governor.

Many had counted Bentley out because of the fierce, negative television campaign waged between GOP gubernatorial candidates Bradley Byrne and Tim James.

Byrne earned a spot outright in the Republican runoff election, set for July 13. As of this writing, Bentley leads James by several hundred votes for the second spot in the runoff, but Secretary of State Beth Chapman’s office has yet to certify the election results.

While Byrne and James threw political mud at each other, Bentley took the high road during his campaign, and we are proud of him for it.

Instead of tearing down his opponents, Bentley talked about his plans for leading our state. He tirelessly traveled Alabama, talking how he will, if elected, create jobs and grow Alabama’s economy without increasing taxes or spending.

His message apparently resonated with Alabama voters, who elevated him far above the predictions of many political prognosticators.

Bentley’s first venture into politics happened right here in Columbiana at Shelby County High School, where he was elected student body president. We think his political integrity is rooted in his Shelby County upbringing.

We hope all politicians take a lesson from Bentley’s success.

Maybe Alabama does, indeed, need a doctor — one with Shelby County roots.