Rep. Joe Bonner (R-Ala.) will resign from Congress on August 15 to accept a position at the University of Alabama (UA), he announced at a press conference on Thursday.
“I have known that this time would one day come — quite frankly, it has come sooner than either [my wife or I] could have anticipated,” he said.
Bonner accepted the newly-created position of Vice Chancellor for Government Relations and Economic Development at the school. Bonner graduated from UA in 1982 and his sister, Judy Bonner, is the president of one of the school’s three campuses, the University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa.
“Jo’s extensive government experience and outstanding economic development record make him ideally suited for this important new position,” UA chancellor Robert Witt said in a statement.
Bonner ran unopposed in his 2012 reelection, securing his sixth term in office.
On Thursday he said he previously had no intention of leaving Congress before his term was up, and that the UA job offer was “both unexpected and certainly unsolicited.”
“I … firmly believe there are many ways you can serve your state and nation without having your name on a ballot,” he continued.
“That said, while I had every intention of completing this term, sometimes opportunities come along that are so rare – and so special – that it forces you to alter even your best-made plans. Such an opportunity arose a few days ago when I was contacted about the chance to go to work for The University of Alabama System."