Gov. Robert Bentley Friday named longtime Marshall County District Attorney Steve Marshall as Alabama's attorney general. Marshall, a former Democrat, switched to the Republican Party in 2011. Marshall will fill the vacancy left by Luther Strange, who Bentley appointed to the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. "Steve is a well-respected district attorney with impeccable credentials and strong conservative values," Bentley said. “I know he will be a great attorney general who will uphold the laws of this state and serve the people of Alabama with fairness." Marshall issued the following statement: "It is a great honor to be named attorney general, and I am thankful to Governor Bentley for the opportunity to serve the people of Alabama." Critics said it was a conflict of interest for Bentley to appoint the attorney general, citing a request by former attorney general Luther Strange to lawmakers, asking them to suspend impeachment proceedings against Bentley because of "related work" by the attorney general's office. Marshall was appointed district attorney in 2001 by then-Gov. Don Siegelman, and won subsequent elections without opposition.