Gov. Ivey's first day in office marked by meetings, firing, bill signing, and lunch

Gov. Ivey's first day in office marked by meetings, firing, bill signing, and lunch
Gov. Ivey signs her first bill into law. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Gov. Ivey signs her first bill into law. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Tuesday was a busy day for new Governor Kay Ivey, her first full day as Alabama's chief executive.

Ivey spent most of the day getting acclimated to her new position, and she terminated some others from theirs. Among the first casualties of the new administration: Jon Mason, the husband of ex-Governor Robert Bentley's once top aide, Rebekah Mason, with whom he was accused of having an affair.

Mason was director of SERVE Alabama, a faith-based organization that "works to increase an ethic of service and volunteerism in the State of Alabama," according to its website.

The status of Ivey's cabinet remains unknown.

Ivey, just the second woman to ever serve as Alabama's governor, signed her first official act as governor, and it was no cream puff proclamation. It was a judicial override bill that reverses Alabama's judicial override law which previously allowed judges to overturn a jury's verdict in a capital murder case, giving them the option to issue a death sentence even if the jury sought life in prison.

"I ask for your help and patience as together we steady the ship of state and improve Alabama's image," she said after being sworn in Monday afternoon. "These are my priorities as your governor."

Following a busy morning, the governor did what any average citizen would do. She headed out of the office for lunch. Media found the new governor dining at Martin's restaurant where she happily told them what she'd had from the menu.

"Roast beef, okra, and string beans," the Camden native beamed.

"We covered a lot of territory with a lot of information," she explained, on a more serious note. "We met with Greg Canfield [AL Dept. of Commerce] and gotten briefed up on some of the economic development projects. We got to know what's been going on so we can make good decisions."

Ivey recalled Monday's events, which thrust her into the spotlight after Bentley stepped down.

"Well it was a fast-moving day," she admitted. "I certainly thought that the decision might be later in the week, but it did move fast and I've got a good, wonderful staff in the Lt. Governor's office and so we got busy. What thrilled me the most was to see how many people came to the ceremony in the Old Senate Chamber. Short notice to everybody and I was taken back by that and appreciated it very much."

Ivey struck a decidedly low-key celebratory tone Monday night following her rise to the governor's office. That's if she even struck one at all. She said she had dinner and went home where she "got to bed at a reasonable time."

She's definitely a fan of Martin's, though. As the impromptu interview ended in the parking lot, a reporter commented she hoped Ivey enjoyed her lunch, to which the governor promptly quipped in her characteristic deep Southern drawl, "Oh, I always do! Good food!"

So, what will happen to Ivey's old seat, the office of lieutenant governor?

According to the secretary of state's office, there will be no special election to fill the seat. Instead, Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, will take on the responsibilities of the office, which will remain vacant until the general election in 2018.

While certain search engines like Google still have to update search results for sites like the office of governor and lt. gov for Alabama, the official state websites' and social media accounts have been updated to reflect the change in power.

As for living in the governor's mansion on South Perry Street, Ivey said she will move there "at some point".

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