Rep. Jo Bonner resigning to take Ala. college post

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner announced Thursday that he is resigning from Congress effective in August to take a post with the University of Alabama system.

In the letter to his congressional colleagues, the six-term Republican said he will resign to become vice chancellor of government relations and economic development at the University of Alabama System. He holds undergraduate and law degrees from the university.

His sister, Judy Bonner, is president of the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa — one of the three campuses in the system.

Bonner, 53, represents a southwestern Alabama district that includes Mobile. He is a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

Republican Gov. Robert Bentley will call a special election to fill Bonner’s seat.

The governor’s press secretary, Jennifer Ardis, said the governor has not set a timetable for the special election.

“Congressman Bonner has made a tremendous difference for the people of South Alabama,” Bentley said in a statement. “He’s worked hard on several major issues, including the ongoing recovery from the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.”

UA system spokeswoman Kellee Reinhart said school officials have not determined how much Bonner will be paid in his new position.

The chancellor of the University of Alabama system, Robert Witt, said Bonner will officially begin his job with the university on Aug. 16. Witt said Bonner is taking a new position.

Witt said Bonner’s government experience and economic development record make him well-suited for the job.

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