Hammett’s appointment great for us

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The announcement this week that Andalusia’s Seth Hammett has agreed to serve as director of the Alabama Development Office in the Bentley administration was great news for our county.

Hammett is a Democrat who spent 32 years in the state legislature and 12 as Speaker of the House. In that role, he was known for his fairness to both parties and his even-handed management of legislation.

It was no doubt that reputation, as well as his experience with economic development both in that role and as an employee of PowerSouth, that earned him the appointment from a Republican governor. Insiders say Bentley was dogged in his determination to get Hammett into the role: the man we’ve long called “The Speaker” turned down the job three times.

Hammett knows his way around government and Montgomery politics, and his smooth political style will no doubt play well with industries considering locating in Alabama. Having him back at work in the Capitol won’t be bad for Covington County, either.

We join a host of others in congratulating Bentley on a good decision and thanking Hammett for his willingness to continue to be a public servant.

Bentley’s reach across party lines and into the Wiregrass, where he spent little time campaigning, are encourating signs that he’s going to Montgomery to do what’s best for the state, not what’s best for him and his party.

We wish both men well in their new jobs.