MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Former Secretary of State Jim Bennett is returning to the office he once held.
Gov. Robert Bentley announced Tuesday that he's chosen Bennett to replace Beth Chapman. She's resigning at the end of the month to become a political consultant with the Alabama Farmers Federation.
Bennett served as secretary of state from 1993 to 2003. Then he served in Gov. Bob Riley's Cabinet and in Bentley's Cabinet as labor commissioner. He retired last year when the departments of Labor and Industrial Relations were merged.
The governor said Bennett will not be a candidate for secretary of state in next year's election.
ATLANTA (AP) -- Dalton Mayor David Pennington has launched his bid to challenge Gov. Nathan Deal in the 2014 Republican primary.
Pennington said Tuesday he has filed the necessary paperwork to become a candidate.
Deal will be seeking his second term after defeating a crowded field of Republican candidates during the 2010 election. He's expected to campaign on his conservative stewardship of state finances and job growth. Pennington in his announcement took early aim at Deal, saying the state's economic performance is trailing the nation.
Pennington touted his work as mayor of Dalton to reduce property taxes and license fees.
On Monday, Deal reported that he had raised $613,000 in campaign contributions since the first of the year and has roughly $1.1 million in cash for his re-election bid.