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Gubernatorial candidate Lindy Blanchard spoke to the Mid-Alabama Republican Club on Saturday about her campaign to be Alabama’s next governor. Blanchard is a wife, mother, businesswoman, international philanthropist, and former U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia.

“I lived in this state all of my life except for when I was serving President Trump as ambassador,” Blanchard said. “I started my own business at 34.

“Johnny (Blanchard) and I got married at 19. He got his degree first. We paid off his student loan and then I went back to school at age 28. We had two children then. I went to Auburn and got a degree in mathematics and computers when I was 32. We had our third child by then. At 34, we decided to do what Johnny had been doing: buying and selling apartments. Our first apartment property was in Mobile, Alabama. It was an exciting time.”

Tragedy struck soon thereafter.

“Twelve years into our business our oldest son ... got hooked on drugs, while a student at South Alabama,” Blanchard said. “A child that became an addict. Christopher succumbed to that addiction.

“We started a nonprofit focused on adoption and children. Eventually we went out of state and expanded it out to 17 countries. I started going to D.C. to get help for children.”

Blanchard said that after Donald Trump was elected as President of the United States friends urged her to apply for USAID Administrator.

“I applied but God had a different plan for me,” Blanchard said. She was appointed to be the Ambassador to Slovenia.

“I was able to get that position, but I will let you know that it was difficult,” Blanchard said. “The Dems really didn’t want an appointed ambassador in that country.”

Blanchard said that as Ambassador she was able to convince Slovenia to spend 2% of its GDP on defense, buy American missiles from Redstone Arsenal, and build a new American nuclear power plant.

"[She next worked to] do a second U.S. nuclear plant working with Southern Company that, when it is complete, will be a $20 billion project,” Blanchard said.

Blanchard said that education is a problem that must be addressed.

“We are 47th ranked in education and 52nd in math. That is unacceptable,” Blanchard said. “I am a mother of eight and I have educated seven children in this state; one did not make it to school.”

Blanchard said that she is not going to do backdoor deals with special interests if elected.

“There is a reason why we are the fourth most corrupt state in the nation,” Blanchard said. “We have candidates in this race that are taking dark money, PAC money, special interest money, and gambling money. When you take special interest money you are beholden to them.”

Blanchard said that she is also committed to expanding broadband in the state.

"We have just 60% of the state coverage with one gigabyte of service,” Blanchard said, “They (Mississippi) are at 80%.”

The Jefferson County Republican Party announced that citizens will have an opportunity to interact with numerous candidates in Hoover Sunday, May 22, at the Pie and Politics event at 3:00 at Hoover Veterans Park.

The MARC meets on the second Saturday of each month at 9:00 a.m. at the Vestavia Hills Public Library.

Blanchard, Lew Burdette, Stacy George, Incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey, Tim James, Donald Trent Jones, Dean Odle, Dave Thomas, and Dean Young are all running for the Republican nomination for governor.

Yolanda Rochelle Flowers, Patricia Salter Jamieson, Arthur Kennedy, Chad “Chig” Martin, Malika Sanders Fortier and Doug “New Blue” Smith are all running for the nomination in the Democratic primary.

Both primaries are on May 24.

The winner of the Democratic primary will face the winner of the Republican primary in the general election on Nov. 8.

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