- Associated Press - Friday, May 13, 2016

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley’s longtime spokeswoman said Friday that she is resigning next month.

Communications director Jennifer Ardis said Friday that she was looking for a change of pace and new challenges after nearly 10 years in the governor’s office, six with Bentley and four with former Gov. Bob Riley.

Ardis will take over June 16 as the director of communications and external affairs for the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. ADECA is a state agency responsible for administering a variety of state and federal programs.

“The last 10 years in the governor’s office have been the most challenging, but rewarding experiences of my life. I am extremely grateful to Gov. Riley and Gov. Bentley for allowing me the opportunity to serve in their administrations. I am proud of the work I have done in the governor’s office, and I look forward to my new role at ADECA, working to build better Alabama communities,” Ardis said in a statement.

Ardis, a native of Monroeville, started in the governor’s press office as 2006 in Riley’s administration shortly after graduating from Troy University. She was later to promoted to deputy press secretary. She has served as Bentley’s press secretary and served as his communications director since 2013.

Ardis said she sought the position after longtime ADECA’s longtime communications director retired in January.

The departure of his communications director comes as Bentley has struggled to shake off a scandal regarding his relationship with a former political adviser.

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