Gubernatorial candidates Lew Burdette and Lindy Blanchard made stops in south Alabama this week, speaking to the Escambia County Republicans.

Burdette talked about how he grew up working in his father’s grocery store, which taught him his work ethic. Burdette talked about raising the standards in the state since Alabama is often ranked at the bottom in various categories. He used a sports analogy to illustrate why a change is needed at the top.

“We love football in this state,” Burdette said. “If the coaches were 48th or 50th they wouldn’t have a job.”

After a comment about Gov. Kay Ivey, he replied, “She should have already rolled back the gasoline tax.”

Burdette added that he’d like to eliminate lobbying in Montgomery, since “all it does is generate favors.”

Blanchard spoke about how her experience building partnerships resulted in former President Donald Trump appointing her as Ambassador to Slovenia.

“Had I not started a non-profit organization for children, I wouldn’t have made relationships in Washington, DC,” Blanchard said.

That led to her qualifications being brought to the president’s attention. Blanchard shared that when she received the call from the White House to be ambassador, “You could have knocked me over with a feather."

She added that her foreign experience will be important for Alabama businesses.

“Right now, China is [Alabama's] number one trading partner,” Blanchard said. “That’s un-American. I will only partner with our allies. I’ve already made big deals with Europe.”

Both candidates have memorable personal traits. Blanchard has an identical twin sister while Burdette shares the name of a Milwaukee Braves pitcher

“After my father saw Lew Burdette win three games in the 1957 World Series, he said, ‘If I have another son, I’ll name him after the pitcher,” Burdette said.

Burdette, Blanchard, Stacy George, 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 running for the nomination in the Democratic primary.

Both primaries are on May 24.

The winners of each primary will face each other in the general election on Nov. 8.

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