Kay Ivey sworn in as 54th Alabama governor - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Kay Ivey sworn in as 54th Alabama governor

Kay Ivey is Alabama's second female governor. (Source: alabama.gov) Kay Ivey is Alabama's second female governor. (Source: alabama.gov)

Alabama Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey was sworn in as the new governor on Monday following Robert Bentley's resignation.

Ivey released the following statement after the ceremony;

Today is both a dark day for Alabama yet also one of opportunity. I ask for your help and patience as we together steady the Ship of State and improve Alabama’s image. Those are my first priorities as your 54th Governor.

When I took the oath of office in 2011 and then again in 2015, I was prepared for this day, but never desired or expected it. The people of Alabama should know that there will be no disruption in the function of your state government. I will soon meet with the current Finance Director, Cabinet members, Senate and House Leadership as well as Constitutional officers to ensure a smooth changeover.

Despite the challenges we face, today’s transition should be viewed as a positive opportunity. It is a demonstration of our successful practice of the rule of law and the principles of democracy.

Serving as your Governor and representing the State of Alabama is no small task. I pledge to each of you that I will do my best. The Ivey administration will be open, transparent, and honest. My commitment is to serve for the Glory of God and the good of man.

I humbly ask for your prayers and your support, especially over the coming days and weeks. Let us use this opportunity to make Alabama even better and your government more effective.

May God continue to bless sweet home Alabama.

READ MORE: AL Gov. Bentley resigns, pleads guilty

Ivey is the second female governor in the state's history and the first for GOP.  The Auburn graduate is the second female governor in the state’s history, and the first for the GOP. Lurleen Wallace, the wife of former Gov. George C. Wallace, was elected  governor in 1966 when her husband could not run for a second term. 

The Camden, Alabama native graduated from Auburn University in 1967.

She was elected lieutenant governor in 2010 and is the second woman in Alabama history to hold the post.

In 2002, Ivey became the first Republican elected state treasurer since the Reconstruction. She was re-elected in 2006.

She has served as chairman of the Job Creation and Military Stability Commission, vice chairman of the Aerospace States Association and acted as an advocate for the Real World Design Challenge.

She served also as Alabama Forestry Associations Black Belt Initiative spokeswoman and participated with Auburn University’s campaign to end child hunger.

Before her career in politics, she worked as a banker, assistant hospital administrator, high school teacher, and served  as a Alabama House of Representatives reading clerk and assistant director of the Department of Commerce.

Bentley resigned amid impeachment hearings Monday morning. He also pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts in relation to illegally using state resources to cover up his alleged affair with top aide Rebekah Mason.

READ MORE: Who is Kay Ivey? 7 facts about the Lt. Gov. who will replace Bentley

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