The newly sworn in Governor of Alabama Robert Bentley, a Republican, has named his Democratic rival in the 2010 Alabama gubernatorial race as the head of the newly created Alabama Rural Development Office.

Ron Sparks, no stranger to Alabama politics, accepted the post and will be responsible for promoting health and education in the rural parts of Alabama.  Sparks served two terms as Alabama’s Agriclutural Commissioner before running as the Democratic nominee for Governor of Alabama.

Sparks is a native of Fort Payne, Alabama in DeKalb County.