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August 18, 2016
Secretary of State’s Office Mourns the Loss of Secretary Jim Bennett

MONTGOMERY – This morning, our office received word that one of the longest-serving and most well-respected Secretaries of State to serve the State of Alabama, Secretary Jim Bennett, has died. Our deepest sympathies are with the Bennett family as they mourn the loss of a great man.


“Secretary Bennett contributed extensively to the betterment of the entire state of Alabama as he dedicated his life to the service of the people, and I am confident that there are very few who have contributed as extensively as he has,” Secretary Merrill said.


“Before taking office, I met with Secretary Bennett at a Cracker Barrel in Birmingham. At one point during the meal, Secretary Bennett looked at me and said, ‘John, this job isn’t easy, and you might lose some friends, but this position requires that you be absolutely committed to protecting and continuing to build this outstanding democracy we have been so blessed to uphold.’ That statement really describes the degree of commitment to public service that Secretary Bennett displayed,” Secretary Merrill said.


Bennett, a graduate of both Jacksonville State University and The University of Alabama, was a dedicated public servant who served a collective 12 years as Secretary of State (two elected terms and two appointed terms). Prior to his service in State government, Secretary Bennett worked for the Birmingham Post-Herald from 1961 to 1971, and he was the subject of national acclaim by the American Political Science Association for his work with the former.


Following his work in Birmingham, Secretary Bennett wanted to act on politics with a more hands-on approach. He was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 1978, served two terms before his election to the Alabama State Senate in 1983, and served in that capacity until being appointed Secretary of State in 1993, a position he held until his July 2003 appointment as Secretary of Labor by Governor Riley.



In addition, Secretary Bennett was awarded the National Association of Secretaries of State Gold Medallion award on March 18, 2015 for his service to the state of Alabama.

For more information, visit Secretary of State John H. Merrill’s Web Site: