PHS grad in midst of Bentley win

Published 11:12 pm Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Henley stands inside Bryant-Denny Stadium’s “The Zone,” where Bentley’s supporters gathered to celebrate his victory last night. Henley has been with the Bentley campaign since his candidate was an "unknown."

It took putting 6,000 miles on Pleasant Home graduate Ethan Henley’s car for him to see Dr. Robert Bentley win the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

Tuesday, it seemed that each one of those miles was well placed when Henley – and the 55-year-old doctor from Tuscaloosa – achieved their goal.

In the most recent unofficial count available, Bentley had 56 percent of the vote to Byrne’s 44 percent with 83 percent of the precincts reporting.

Henley was the 2009 PHS valedictorian and is a current University of Alabama freshman and political science/public relations major. He joined the Bentley campaign in October 2009 by way of the university’s College Republicans group.

Since then, he said he has driven 6,000 miles across the state delivering signs, attending functions and telling all of Alabama why he thought Bentley should be Alabama’s next governor.

“This has been a great experience,” Henley said. “It’s such a historic event for Alabama. We went from being virtually unknown and not expecting any of this to essentially winning the nomination. Witnessing it firsthand has been phenomenal.”

Early-on, when Bentley was still an “unknown,” Henley convinced him to campaign at the volunteer fire department in Wing where Henley’s father is the fire chief.