Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announces run for another term

Alabama Republican Governor Kay Ivey

Updated - Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has announced she is running for another full term as governor.

Posted: Jun 2, 2021 9:59 AM
Updated: Jun 2, 2021 4:20 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced Wednesday that she's running for reelection, citing her record over the last four years that includes the state's emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ivey, 76, made the announcement in a video message released by her campaign. The Republican emphasized her administration's investment in infrastructure, job creation, Alabama's pandemic recovery and its low unemployment rate.

“Alabama is working again, and the best is yet to come," Ivey said in her distinct Southern drawl.

“The COVID crisis has tested us all, but together we've met the call with the same things that make us who we are — faith, resilience and a good old-fashioned bucket load of common sense. The result: a future brighter than any other in America," Ivey said.

The incumbent governor’s entry into the 2022 race likely will discourage some gubernatorial hopefuls from jumping into the fray. Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth had said he will not run for governor if Ivey seeks another term. No Democrat has declared an intention to run yet.

Speaking briefly with reporters later in the day, Ivey said she is running on her record and to tackle unfinished business. Ivey cited education, the state prison system and job creation as priorities.

“We've got several items that need attention. One is meaningful education reform. Certainly, we'll finish out the prison project. We'll be working with the legislators on that project. And keeping our people employed gainfully and adding more jobs,” Ivey said.

Ivey faced both praise and criticism for her handling of the pandemic. Unlike some Southern governors, she issued a statewide mask order, a move that was criticized by some conservatives but won her praise from health officials and others for following scientific recommendations. The state mask order has ended.

She has often embraced GOP priorities during her four years in office, including signing the nation's most stringent abortion restrictions into law, making performing an abortion a felony in nearly all cases. The 2019 law, swiftly blocked by the courts, was part of a wave of restrictions passed by Republican-led legislatures that were aimed at getting the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit the issue of abortion.

Ivey also won a political victory in 2019 with legislative approval of a gas tax increase to fund road and bridge construction and improvements at the state docks.

While Alabama's state prison crisis was decades in the making before Ivey took office, the U.S. Department of Justice sued the state last year over its management, saying male prisoners live in unconstitutional conditions with excessive levels of violence. The state prison system disputes the claims.

Hours after making the announcement, Ivey made a brief lunchtime campaign stop to speak with reporters and greet diners at a restaurant not far from the Alabama Capitol.

“I think she has done a great job particularly with the corona(virus) situation. She's done a very good job of injecting a lot of common sense into her decisions,” said retired Air Force Col. Joe Panza, who now serves as executive director of the Air University Foundation. “She took some heat for it, but that is what leadership is all about," Panza, 82, said.

In a statement on Twitter, the Alabama Democratic Party said, "Alabama can't afford 4 more years."

“Kay Ivey claims that AL has a ‘future brighter than any other in America' but after a decade of total GOP control, AL still ranks at the bottom of every list, whether it's healthcare, education, or vaccinations," the party tweeted.

Ivey is the state’s second female governor and the first Republican woman elected to the position.

She had been lieutenant governor when she succeeded Gov. Robert Bentley in 2017. Bentley suddenly resigned in the midst of an impeachment investigation partly centered on his relationship with an aide.

She won election to her first full term the next year, defeating Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox as the GOP dashed Democrats’ hopes of making gains in the deeply red state. Ivey, who is two years younger than President Joe Biden, faced indirect questions about her health during the 2018 race, but easily won her party's nomination and then the general election.

In 2019, Ivey announced she was undergoing radiation treatments after she was diagnosed with Stage 1 lung cancer. Last year, she said medical scans show the treatment worked and she is cancer-free.

Ivey on Wednesday brushed aside a question about her health and said she has the stamina to handle another term.

"Four more years and more if I could run again," Ivey said. Ivey by law is limited to two consecutive full terms.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 482902

Reported Deaths: 9425
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison33063488
Hinds31021589
DeSoto30610358
Jackson23687348
Rankin21340370
Lee14909220
Madison14166271
Jones13404227
Forrest13160240
Lauderdale11601305
Lowndes10443176
Lamar10214130
Pearl River9098221
Lafayette8241137
Hancock7514112
Washington7102150
Oktibbeha6964124
Monroe6514164
Neshoba6475201
Warren6464164
Pontotoc630393
Panola6250126
Marshall6126123
Bolivar6115144
Union574186
Pike5613136
Alcorn537290
Lincoln5303131
George471472
Scott459196
Leflore4476140
Prentiss446779
Tippah446480
Itawamba4444100
Adams4416116
Tate4394101
Simpson4335112
Wayne433066
Copiah431787
Yazoo423386
Covington415792
Sunflower4148104
Marion4099104
Leake397586
Coahoma3957100
Newton370875
Grenada3556104
Stone350860
Tishomingo336289
Attala325387
Jasper314162
Winston304691
Clay296473
Chickasaw287065
Clarke282190
Calhoun266141
Holmes262187
Smith250649
Yalobusha221047
Tallahatchie220450
Walthall211058
Greene209045
Lawrence206833
Perry199953
Amite198452
Webster196542
Noxubee178939
Montgomery172454
Jefferson Davis168342
Carroll162137
Tunica153334
Benton142535
Kemper138640
Choctaw127026
Claiborne126834
Humphreys126637
Franklin116728
Quitman103926
Wilkinson101936
Jefferson91333
Sharkey63020
Issaquena1926
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 784484

Reported Deaths: 13921
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1111691760
Mobile707171225
Madison49549625
Baldwin36108489
Shelby36062314
Tuscaloosa33661547
Montgomery33066676
Lee22407219
Calhoun21041405
Morgan19734334
Etowah19001459
Marshall17619274
Houston16697382
St. Clair15361303
Cullman14506257
Limestone14505187
Elmore14387260
Lauderdale13436280
Talladega12855234
DeKalb12140236
Walker10524329
Blount9649156
Autauga9642137
Jackson9325156
Coffee8793175
Dale8529172
Colbert8482182
Tallapoosa6616177
Escambia6553120
Covington6420165
Chilton6342143
Russell602455
Franklin5758101
Chambers5370133
Marion4769117
Dallas4676187
Pike460096
Clarke459878
Geneva4371116
Winston422994
Lawrence4107108
Bibb407380
Barbour343270
Marengo325683
Monroe317152
Butler316490
Randolph304456
Pickens301873
Henry300357
Hale291584
Cherokee288353
Fayette277973
Washington245148
Crenshaw237069
Cleburne231150
Clay226765
Macon218658
Lamar193342
Conecuh181346
Lowndes170758
Coosa168033
Wilcox159736
Bullock148842
Perry136336
Sumter124336
Greene120642
Choctaw73326
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While some cool mornings are again in store for the weekend, afternoons start to warm up a bit, so plan on dressing in layers if you're heading to the MSU or Bama games, because you'll need to utilize them in different ways.
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