AP projects Kay Ivey to win Alabama governor’s race
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Associated Press is projecting Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey will retain her office after beating two opponents in the November general election.
“Tonight, our voters have spoken loud and clear by their support for our conservative record for results, and it’s a record I’m sure proud of too!” Ivey said to a crowd at her downtown Montgomery campaign party.
“We begin to set the highest expectation and standards for America so we can become not only the premiere destination for growth in our region but the entire world,” Ivey added. “And under my leadership, ‚Alabama’s government will always reflect the values of Alabamians.”
Democrat Yolanda Flowers and Libertarian James “Jimmy” Blake both sought to replace Ivey as she cruises to her second full term as the state’s chief executive. They faced uphill challenges with a popular incumbent and her well-financed campaign.
Flowers had declined to concede the election Tuesday night, saying from her Birmingham area watch party that “Projections don’t mean a thing” and “polls just closed.” She later expressed disappointment over what she says has been a lack of support from Democratic party leaders at both the state and national levels.
“Our Democratic party has been fighting, and there’s a divide. What I hope can be gained from this is that our eyes will open just to express and show everyone that we had a chance. We had a chance to turn it blue,” Flowers said.
The AP and other news organizations called the race, along with that of Katie Britt in the U.S. Senate race, moments after polls officially closed.
A recent poll conducted by Gray TV and Alabama Daily News reported Ivey commanded 60 percent of the votes, though she exclaimed that “the only poll that matters is what, who shows up at the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 8.”
Under Ivey’s leadership, the state has attracted many economic investments, including major businesses, which her office has touted as bringing more than $32 billion in capital investment and 65,000 new jobs to the state. There’s also a record low unemployment and an effort to expand broadband.
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Ivey is no stranger to state politics, having served in three of the state’s constitutional offices. She was first elected to statewide office in 2003 as Treasurer. Her two terms were ultimately marred by the economic downturn and subsequent financial crisis surrounding the state’s Pre-paid Affordable College Tuition, or PACT, program.
Term-limited, Ivey initially sought higher office as governor in 2011 but quickly pivoted in a crowded field to the lieutenant governor’s race, a move that proved decisive in her political career several years later.
Ivey was swept into the state’s highest office in mid-2017 following the resignation of then-Gov. Robert Bentley. She quickly consolidated Republican support and won her first full term as the state’s 54th governor a year later.
The Camden native, who turned 78 in October, is just the second woman to hold the leadership position and the first Republican woman to do so.
When her next term ends in 2026, Ivey will have solidified herself in state political history as the longest consecutive-serving governor in Alabama’s more than 200 years. Only George Wallace will have served more, with 16 years happening in four terms spread across three decades.
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