Kay Ivey (R), who ascended to the Governorship when incumbent Robert Bentley (R) was forced to resign as part of a plea bargain arrangement, is coalescing her political strength as she seeks her first elected term. Following Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan’s lead from earlier this month, state Auditor Jim Ziegler (R) announced that he, too, would end his gubernatorial campaign. Mr. McMillan made public statements as early as last May that he would run for Governor, but reversed course in early January only now to re-surface in the state Treasurer’s race. Mr. Ziegler’s future plans are not clear, but the Governor’s campaign is coming down to a battle against an interim incumbent who is demonstrating political prowess.
But, Gov. Ivey is not yet home free for the Republican nomination. Still in the race is Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and state Sen. Bill Hightower (R-Mobile). The Democrats are fielding Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox and former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb. The state primary is June 5th, with a run-off scheduled for July 17th if no candidate receives an absolute majority in their respective party nomination elections.
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