- Associated Press - Thursday, June 5, 2014

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has appointed Al Thompson of Bay Minette to replace Tracy Roberts, who resigned Tuesday from the state Board of Education.

Bentley made the appointment on Wednesday, Al.com reported (http://bit.ly/1pHR6pc ).

Thompson, a former member of the Baldwin County Board of Equalization, will take office immediately but still must be approved by the state Senate. The term ends in 2016.

Roberts, who was in the middle of her first term, cited unspecified personal reasons for stepping down. The district takes in Baldwin County, most of Mobile County and five other southwest Alabama counties.

Thompson, 58, ran his family’s five specialty clothing store in Baldwin County for years.

“He has a wealth of knowledge and experience to bring to the table,” said Jennifer Ardis, a spokeswoman for Bentley. “The governor is confidence he’ll be a good asset to the board.”

Board member Mary Scott Hunter, who was a close ally of Roberts, said she believes Thompson was good choice. She said she appreciates Bentley acting quickly to avoid a political controversy.

“The last thing we need is another primary,” said Hunter, adding that she believes Thompson is “pro public education.”

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